by Neon London0
Monnier Freres: your go-to destination for luxe accessories
In today’s society, the age old question of ‘what women want’ remains a mystery. Even to women, it’s still somewhat unclear. Brothers, Guillaume and Jean Monnier saw a pocket of possibility here however, so launched their luxe website, Monnier Freres. The pair may not be designers per say, but they certainly have a knack for buying (and selling) designer accessories; handbags, jewellery, sunglasses and scarves to be exact. Backed by over 10 years’ experience at Dior, the duo have tapped in to the fast paced, multi-million pound accessories industry, giving women what they want in just a few clicks.
“My brother and I have complementary skills,” Jean explains. “I know e-commerce and my brother understands high-end fashion. Together we know how to market luxury products.” The site is a breath of fresh air for the fashion industry. In most cases e-commerce prioritises clothes and shoes; accessories are a decorative afterthought that adorn white blouses and add flounce to LBDs. Yet there is no other website that threatens Monnier Freres’ success. Quite simply, it’s a niche (but smart) idea with genius results.
“This season we bought 1500 different handbags from the finest designers,” Jean Monnier explains. “With the high-end brands we can buy over 60 skus a season. Handbags communicate a woman’s personality; [the customer] will wear a bag everyday with her outfits”.
“It’s a tough challenge buying for women,” Jean continues. “Our buying team is mostly female and we buy wide and large from well-known brands to offer the smartest choice.” The evidence of this is clear; Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and Vanessa Bruno all fill Monnier Freres’ virtual shelves, alongside smaller and quirkier brands like Acne and Lulu Guinness. “We realised that nobody is doing what the department store is doing physically: offering a wide array of accessories (mostly handbags) “on the first floor” to go with a number of outfits,” Jean adds. “My brother did merchandising in the Pacific region for Dior and it helped us understand marketing luxury products.”
A Selection of Monnier Freres AW13 Accessories
The site itself has a real charm. And it’s been curated for every level of customer: beside the latest high-shine Proenza Schouler satchel sits a faux leather clutch by Gerard Darel. And neighbouring that is a chunky oversized jewel necklace, handmade by a name-to-know in Madrid. There’s lots of take in but the thing that makes it different is the characteristic advice at the bottom of each page (it’s here the brother’s fashion know-how really comes in to play). Quaint style tips that nod to new season trends provide customers with the extra care and consideration that a successful website needs. It’s clear Jean and Guillaume really understand their woman and have tailored their site to suite.
“So many websites are curating products and creating accessorised looks ready to buy,” Jean explains. “We felt there was room to be different, someone needed to bring more choice to the online market. In our case, it’s about buying one very special bag that differentiates from everyone else. And in this case it’s the exclusive Alaia bag as for us, that’s the bag of the season.”