A Conversation with WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie

Twin brothers Messrs Dexter and Byron Peart were so passionate about their conviction to create a product that filled a niche desire, that when they founded WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie in 2006, they decided to incorporate those core values into the name. Since that time, the duo has consistently applied their penchant for streamlined design, minimalist function and luxe details into its contemporary label. In our latest interview, the Peart brothers discuss everything from their on-the-go lifestyle and the difficulties of during the design process, to their marketing strategy and perspectives on current industry standards and craftsmanship.

WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie is…inspired by timeless, functional design classics. The brand was conceived out of a “want” for premium quality leather goods to house the “essential” personal and professional products that we use in our everyday lives.

Balancing style and modern functionality…is our daily challenge. We aim to create a balance between a traditional style and a modern compatibility. The brand’s core value, identified on each of its products by its ubiquitous gold & silver zipper, is to achieve unity through contrast.

Accessories are the key to…defining your own personal style. While originally adorned for functional roles in protecting oneself from the elements – hats, eyewear, shoes or bags – accessories now play a significantly complementary role in completing one’s wardrobe. Unlike fashion, accessories don’t require periodic rotation, and are more often than not meant to be worn or used everyday. With this in mind, we are keen to deliver accessories that serve in terms of personal utility and style.

Material and color selection for WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie…is focused on building products that last – not only over time, but also trend. Since the inception of WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, we have found our inspirations in architecture and furniture design. We are constantly sourcing leather, organic cotton, and other natural materials in terms of feel, quality, sustainability and durability. Accordingly, we continually develop colors and textures that are often consistent with seasonal directions, yet are still elegant and timeless. Ultimately, we are making products that we anticipate our users will pass on from generation to generation.

The most difficult part of developing products…is delivering to the market a finished product that not only meets our expectations, but more importantly those of our consumers. For us, designing really original new products comes quite naturally. However, we have consistently followed Dieter Ram’s guiding principles that “Less is More.” We have taken great pride in being disciplined enough to use significant restraint in keeping the product offering limited to what we believe to be only the essential items that our users require for his or her daily commute.

The current focus on craftsmanship…great news for our industry… and all areas of consumer consumption for that matter. There has been so much focus over the past decade to deliver faster, cheaper, disposable products to the market. We aim to be part of the counter culture which is rooted in delivering quality products which are high on design and produced in reputable environments, at a fair price, and ultimately are built to last.

Traveling is… a great luxury – whether for work or pleasure. There is no question that getting on a plane weekly, as we do, is taxing on the mind and body, but it’s tough for us to complain – recognizing that we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to wander the world, share original experiences with diverse people, and be inspired by new and traditional customs and cultures.

Marketing strategy… is pretty simple – “Stay true to who you are.” We have always envisaged WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie as a solutions company, with our sole intention to continually develop products (and in the future, potentially services) that meet, and adapt to, the ever changing needs of the modern commuter. We feel that as long as we deliver on this promise, we will continue to build a dedicated community that consists of a narrow selection of the worlds’ most influential retail stockists, and traditional and new media channels, that will help us to share our story.

The perfect accessory or piece of luggage should be… timeless, functional and easy. It is pretty obvious that we too have been greatly inspired by Steve Jobs. The Apple brand revolutionized the meaning of luxury. We are devoted in contributing to a “new luxury” movement, which steers clear of excess, and instead proposes original and uncompromising, premium products that are democratic in appeal and accessible to all. Our mission is to design and develop products that respect (not detract from) the beauty and simplicity of the cherished products that they house.

Life (La Vie) is…“what you make it” – Color of Spring by Talk Talk, 1986.

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