After ten years spent in the biggest luxury houses, Virginie Ducatillon embarked on the creation of Adapta, which aims to become the e-purchasing center for second-hand leather. Second hand certainly, but not just any, because Virginie selects only the most beautiful materials from the best suppliers. Through this approach, it gives eco-design its most beautiful letters of nobility.
  • In a few words, who are you?
I'm Virgine Ducatillon and I launched Adapta a little over a year ago. I spent more than ten years in luxury leather goods and I realized that there were many stocks of leather, of very good quality, which were not used and sometimes even destroyed.
  • What triggered the creation of Adapta?
Following this observation, I decided to launch Adapta, which allows you to select leathers in the dormant stocks of luxury suppliers. This can be either at the tanners, or at the manufacturers of finished products, or in the central stocks of luxury houses. The goal is therefore to promote eco-design by using the existing material, especially since it is of very good quality. In this way, we want to give it a second life by offering it to creators, brands, which either do not have sufficient volumes, or do not have the budgets to launch these productions with these luxury suppliers.
  • What is eco-design?
Eco-design for me is really transforming a supply constraint into a stimulation of creativity .
  • Why did you settle in this workshop?
I moved into this space a few months ago, in September. The idea was to be able to be in a place that really has character and history. I chose this former leather goods workshop which had been there for thirty years. In addition, we are in the Grands Boulevards district, a district of tanners and furriers. I am happy to continue the story of this place in the same vein.
  • How is the meeting with the brands and creators going?
All stocks are here in the workshop, so I invite people to make an appointment. We offer them personalized service. We seek to understand the creative universe of the brands in order to advise them properly according to the product. We are also a partner of ADC, an incubator for the leather sector, and every three months we have a pop-up where designers come to meet. For creators in the provinces, we work most of the time by e-mail and photos. Next month I hope to launch the e-commerce site for brands that are not based in Paris and create the leather "empty dressing room", to be like a central purchasing office for leather. This will allow us to have more impact in terms of volume as well.
  • What is Adapta's approach?
We have chosen a high-end positioning. We collect the skins one by one to be sure of the quality and traceability. What matters above all is the tanner. The real challenge is to be able to find the material. For brands and designers, it's a bit like Christmas: they have access to noble and pre-selected materials at lower prices and with no minimum volume. The positive point is that the concept of eco-design is increasingly popular with suppliers. We find our leathers by opportunism: end of series (too small quantities), leathers that did not correspond to the specifications of color, quality, etc. We unearth these little treasures.
  • Do you have training in leather?
I worked for ten years in product development in large luxury houses, so I had quite a lot of contact with quality leather. Depending on the tanneries, I know their different types of tanning: vegetable, mineral, etc. I recognize the hand and the finish of a leather. So I learned on the job.
  • Why this collaboration with Balzac Paris?
First , it was obvious to canvass Balzac Paris for this collection, even before the launch of Adapta. From that moment, Chrysoline was thrilled and supported the process. We have the same vision of fashion. The process was long to be sure to stick to the universe of the brand. So I suggested to the accessory designers this croco-embossed cowhide which comes from an Italian tannery near Florence, selected from a small fashion house in Paris. There is very little stock, so it is a very very limited edition. Photo credits: Solenne Jakovsky for The Prescriber More information on the Adapta website Follow Adapta on: Facebook and Instagram