Why did you create a saddlery brand?
I have been riding for 30 years, and I’m a perfectionist. Horse riding is a dangerous sport, but also one that requires sensitivity. You have to make your horse understand you, and sense its reactions. It has an emotional intelligence. It is like a sponge, it soaks up the rider’s mood. Leather makes this communication possible. Its quality also ensures the safety of rider and horse. A few years ago, saddlery began to lose its skills. I met some artisans who were producing custom designs in a small atelier. The expertise was there, but not the funds. Thanks to high-performance machinery, saddles, bridles, halters and so on are now made to exacting standards with leathers tanned in France.
What inspires you?
To be faithful to the equestrian world, because everything revolves around it. Take the material: the raw elegance of Barenia vegetable-tanned leather. It is pure, like the collaboration with Frédérique Dessemond at Ginette NY. I gave her carte blanche and she understood this world intuitively, and retained its conventions, right down to the golden saddle. Her designs are thus spot on. In this business, function is more important than form.
What places resonate with the horse and with leather, with your approach?
Places of freedom and wide-open spaces, like the United States. And also Japan, for the finesse, one of the qualities of horse riding, and meticulousness, which is inherent in saddlery.
Have you discovered another way of working leather or riding a horse?
No, on the contrary. Equestrian culture is the same wherever you go in the world.
A trip through time?
The best day is tomorrow! But having visited the Grande Écurie (royal stables) in Versailles, living in the time of Louis XIV with horses everywhere must have been exciting, a sight to see! This place is magnificent, and what Bartabas has done with it is very impressive.
- 1968 Naissance à Toulouse.
- 1991 Institut supérieur du commerce, Paris.
- 1999 Création de Guibert Paris, 22, avenue Victor-Hugo.
- 2000 Ligne de bijoux en argent avec Robert Goossens.
- 2004 Ouverture d’un corner chez Harrods, Londres.
- 2008 Référencé dans le Guide Vuitton Paris.
- 2010 Collection de briderie Atherstone avec le vétérinaire de l’équipe de France de jumping.
- 2013 Première collection de maroquinerie cuir et toile Quarter Marker.
- Septembre 2016 4ème collection capsule avec Ginette NY.