Olympia Le Tan’s Book-Clutches

How to explain this craze around Olympia Le Tan’s book-clutches? The small innovative bag models created by the parisian fashion designer  are a real breath of fresh air on the contemporary market. The offset design was inspired by her innate passion for literature and books. Actually, the 21 limited series of bags Le Tan has already created are the result of her both hobbies. Coming from a family of painters (her father was a reputed French author and graphic artist and her grandfather – Le-Pho – , a famous Chinese painter), this young designer has always been passionate about drawing, but she finally opted for studying literature in London. Fond of books, she has been collecting them untill she discovered a way of turning reading material into fashion items.

A bit eccentric, Olympia Le Tan, left her career plans in the hazard’s hands. Amused by her naïve drawings and by her passion for embroidery, Gilles Dufour offered her to make ​​a first stage at the Chanel studio.. Olympia will follow him when he left Chanel for Balmain in this adventure before leaving everything behind in order to create her own universe.


The entirely handmade small bags that perfectly ressemble book covers have quickly become very successful. First adored by the designer’s friends, they gained a larger range of puplarity and nowadays they can be seen on stars like Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and Clemence Poesy on the red carpet. Unfortunately the hand made embroidery, which requires about 14 hours of manual work for each item, the leather wrapping and the hand clasping of zippers make their end user price very high.

Initially concentrating herself on her favorite classics (Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke, Heart Snatcher by Boris Vian), in their original form, the designer plans to move to other ideas and she has already extended her research, choosing, for instance, planets, globes and invitations to travel for her summer collection. She has also started looking into more profitable materials that would enable her to launch less expensive bags, available for the average customer with an eye for innovative design.