A Basque enclave near the Elysée

Gratianne and Amandine Bascans, what a team;

Gratianne and Amandine Bascans, what a team;

I was walking towards the Jockey Club where witty and entertaining Mickey Wolfson was giving a dinner party for a young couple of striking Byzantine scholars and I discovered that in the last two weeks, a new shop had opened in the spot of Jérome de Noirmont’s former gallery, at 38 ave Matignon. Two charming ladies, (hard to say who is the mother and who is the daughter) from Biarritz, are running this happy space, Gratianne Bascans,  of leather handbags and traveling bags.

DSC_5047Gratianne Bascans and her daughter Amandine are lovely when they speak about the « Made in pays Basque » label. Their ancestor, Alexis, who manufactured espadrilles in Mauléon, at the foot of the Pyrénées in 1830, was clever enough to let his wife and then his daughter in law, develop the company. Bascans became, in the 19 th century,  a women’s success story !

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The bascanaise is the cloth designed with five basque logos.

Today, these two dynamic and trendy ladies (the mother trains horses in Chantilly early in the morning) have developed a special cloth, la Bascanaise, with five basque logos. All the bags’ lining is red and silver striped. And they created a line of leather espadrilles which would be so chic in Sag Harbor this summer. If you are looking for a very original present, they also sell « manilas », special sticks made of medlar wood, leather and white gold  for Santiago de Compostelle pilgrims fora around 2 500€. A perfect item for walking week-ends.

The prices are as luxurious as the bags but the Bascans ladies are obviously ambitious and demanding on quality.

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