The wisdom of Marcela Calvet

Calvet Paris: Margrethe II handbag, Photo provided by Marcela Calvet
Calvet Paris: Margrethe II handbag, Photo provided by Marcela Calvet

By Meredith Corning

The Calvet Paris label can be defined by its elegance, sophistication, and style, but most predominantly by its rich heritage bearing the name, the integrity, and the exclusivity. Recognizable for their vibrant shades of cognac, deep burgundy, and garnet coupled with superbly crafted hardware accentuates the skins of this exquisite line of handbags, however one must not take for granted thatCalvet Paris is more than skin deep. In fact, one can take review of a history of fashion lesson while learning more about the label and find out how Calvet Paris supports the arts through the Calvet Foundation, but hear it from the woman behind the handbag, Marcela Calvet.

You are an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Creative Director for Calvet Paris.  Can the modern woman have it all and how do you find balance in your professional and personal life?

Marcela Calvet: As women in this century, we are fortunate to get to live our lives in the manner we choose; following our own paths and making our own decisions.  This is something that we can live and enjoy today thanks to the efforts, pain, suffering and determination of countless women who came before us.  I think that is what gives me the desire, strength and impetus to go forward.  Perhaps it is not  a matter of “having it all” but rather it has to do with that fire within you that makes you follow your passion regardless of what obstacles may come your way.  Finding the balance is easy if you know yourself well enough to acknowledge your limitations and to never fear enlisting the help of those around us when it is necessary.  

Calvet Paris has a rich heritage in the design industry.  Was that a great deal of pressure for you to carry on the label and how did you formulate a plan to keep high standards for the Calvet name?

Marcela Calvet: I am so passionate about what I do.  Having such a rich heritage behind me provides the roadmap that I need to follow, the insight about how to follow it and the tools that I need to pay homage to the legacy of the past but always looking towards the future.  One thing that I did know from the start was to honour the same high standards that were set forth by the original label “Callot Soeurs” back in 1895.  Our growth is measured and controlled precisely to honour the same original values.   Our clientele appreciates that.

From a marketing perspective, what are the top three ways you have found to be successful in generating sales? 

Marcela Calvet: Word of mouth is invaluable.  The trust our clientele has vested in our brand is demonstrated by their loyalty and they are always willing to share their experiences with those in their circle.  Also, the incredible support of the press, not in the form of paid advertising but what is more significant: through the writing of articles — which is the opportunity you are giving me right now!  I appreciate that!  It is this kind of exposure that provides us with the platform to make our brand become better known. I view it as a wonderful conversation amongst friends. Last but not least, through our retail outlets: our own boutiques and our partners.

Marcela Calvet holding the DIBA handbag in Ivory. Photo provided by Marcela Calvet.
Marcela Calvet holding the DIBA handbag in Ivory. Photo provided by Marcela Calvet.

As the Creative Director for Calvet Paris, what are your duties and why did this job title appeal to you?

Marcela Calvet: I am the Chief Designer as well, so my duties involve several areas.  I work in close collaboration with my team of expert artisans who bring my designs to life. But as Creative Director,  I am responsible for setting the direction and path we must follow; thus my duties are variedl. From overseeing every aspect of production and fulfillment to our on-going marketing efforts. Also, I personally  take under my wing the level of service we provide and our clients’ satisfaction which to me is paramount.

What advice do you have for other Creative Directors just starting their careers?

Marcela Calvet: Never think you know it all because you don’t.  Be humble and be willing to learn from others.  Be hands-on.  Treat every person in your team with respect and lead them by example with a sincere smile and a  genuine “can-do” attitude.  Be positive and let your inner-fire drive you and your passion guide you.


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