For us, like for any brand, there are always some constraints that prevent us from creating everything to our desire.
Native Union Paris is our antidote to those reins. Our “freedom ground”, as our CEO & Co-founder Igor put it. A space we’re creating for ourselves to design the products that’ve stayed on our drawing board.
We planned this new arm of our brand for a long time and started our move to Paris last year starting with Fabien, our Creative & Brand Director. Today, we’re settling into our brand new design studio and showroom in the vibrant second district of rue Montmartre, finally ready to share what we’ve been up to.
Come along as Igor and Fabien walk us through our ambitions for Native Union Paris and how Heritage came to be.
What was behind the reason for opening a new office in Paris?
Igor: In a way, it’s not really a ‘move to’ but a ‘return to’. We happened to create Native Union from Hong Kong, but our DNA was deeply French from the first day.
We flew back several times per year, attended design shows in Paris, and have remained very connected with our childhood friends and the creative community there.
Now that our brand has matured, we felt that it was important to recenter the creative direction in Paris. The city remains one of the most inspiring in the world, where fashion and design come together in a historic architectural landscape.
What’s the ambition for the Heritage Collection and Native Union Paris?
Igor: In a world surrounded by screens, I think any emotions triggered by our senses feel even stronger.
Native Union Paris is above all, collections of highly desirable objects. Well-engineered and well-crafted, of course – but with even more attention to the materiality, subtleties in color, and the emotional link between the user and our end product.
With our first Heritage range and future collections, we want to create accessories that not only enhance your modern lifestyle but also lend a sense of pride to your carry.
Fabien: Yes, designing products at scale for our main line comes with technical challenges and cost constraints, which means we may not be able to do everything we want. But exclusive distribution for Native Union Paris allow us to approach things completely differently.
Working on the Heritage Collection felt like going back to the early stages of Native Union. The limited series gave our Design team full freedom to mix traditional craft with high precision manufacturing techniques – we always loved the contrast of tech with handmade craftsmanship and natural materials.
Why expand into small leather goods?
Fabien: We’ve been working with leather since day one. Our experience with this beautiful material as well as our trusted partnerships with the best tanneries in Italy made us feel confident enough to pass this step, both design and quality wise.
From a product perspective, creating our own version of the classic card holder came as a natural extension to complement and complete our existing range of everyday carry.
So what differentiates Heritage from our main line? What makes it special?
Fabien: Our entire brand has been built on a vision for premium tech. Especially after the last year we’ve had, our tech devices are at the center of our lives. They help us stay connected. Work smarter, better. Pursue education, passions.
With this range, we went all the way back to our original mission: challenge the perception that tech accessories have to be purely functional and dull.
We see the Heritage Collection as the culmination of our decade of experience designing and engineering new products with an obsession for details and materials. With the use of consciously sourced Nappa leather, rich colorways, textures, and gold foil embossing, we wanted to impart an elevated feeling across the entire line.
How does this new brand extension and move to Paris further our mission?
Igor: Our mission is to enhance the way we live with tech, and to do so, we balance performance and elegance to develop a range of everyday essentials.
With Fabien and his team now based in Paris, our ambition is to stay connected to our Parisian roots and inspired by the multitude of creative initiatives constantly running in this iconic city.
Who are we designing these collections for?
Fabien: Anyone who shares our passion for good design and quality products.