The story of an encounter
Starting in 2005, Pierre GIONNET left the design office Tsé & Tsé Associates while Philippe BETRAND took a break from working for Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture. CLARAMONTE is the result of the destined encounter between Pierre and Philippe, two enthusiasts who were inspired by each other and keen to launch a new project. They then traveled to Marrakech where Philippe started his collaboration with local craftsmen to make their first prototype for the collection. Pierre joined the partnerships adding his talented eye to the designs and together they created their first collection of handbags: the CLARAMONTE brand was born. Their first collection found instant success in Japan selling exclusively to boutiques known for offering the highly conceptual creations from French designers. Then in 2010, Philippe and Pierre forayed into the European market. Each piece, ingrained with Claramonte’s design DNA, was the result of an audacious fusion between traditional craftsmanship and the contemporary tastes of the designers.
Born in Arles in 1971, Philippe BERTRAND studied at the Parisian Couture Union Chamber. He took his first steps into the world of fashion with an internship with the designer Lacroix, a brand where he shared a Mediterranean heritage and a passion for its influences. He then joined the prestigious brand Maison Lemarié as Assistant Art Master. He contributed to the creation of luxury goods for the most iconic French fashion houses: Chanel, Lacroix, Mugler and Yves St Laurent. These experiences allowed Philippe to develop his affinity and his sensitivity to the craftsmanship of handmade work, passions that still drive him today and live on in his accessories and handbags creations. The key moments that influenced Philippe : In 1998 he worked at Kenzo with designer Gilles Rosier. It is there that he discovers the tradition, elegance and sensitivity to history in Japanese design - all designs facets present in Claramonte’s first bags. Then in 2001 he discovered Morocco, its artisans and their expert craftsmanship ... It was only the beginning of a rich, inspiring, and sometimes experimental collaboration with local artisans, which still lasts today. Returning back to Paris, Philippe continued his fashion career and his passion for discovery by working with different creators in fashion and design: Edelkoort Studio where he was the assistant photo stylist for the conceptual magazines View On Colors and Bloom, designer Marcel Marongiu as first assistant, and then to Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture, which served as the inspiration and confidence to devote himself to the his own handbag collection. "I like to push these artisans-artists to their limits. With boldness, surprising things often emerge, unexpected combinations and mixtures, which gives new sophisticated forms to this traditional and ancestral craftsmanship ”.
Born in Paris in 1981, Pierre Gionnet graduated with a degree in product design at La Martinière Terreaux school (Lyon) in 2003. He had his first professional experience as an assistant designer at TSE & TSE Associates in Paris, a world renowned independent French design. There he worked closely with the 2 creators Sigolène PREBOIS and Catherine LEVIS which continues to inspire his work to this day. He immersed himself in their dreamlike universe founded in humor, poetry and purity. Throughout his time shared with Sigolène and Catherine he acquired a close relationship with the “object”. It was there where he deepened his admiration for the object's constant balance between craftsmanship and industrial design. Pierre shared his talent working on various projects: the MK2 cinema shop,the “cherry blossom” light garlands. He also played a major role in the re-conception and furniture design for the restaurant “Le Pause Café” in the chic Bastille quartier in Paris. His experience with TSE & TSE honed his sober and refined design perspective with an offbeat influence. For him, the object must tell a story, it must be part of an intimate and light universe. In 2005 he met Philippe Bertrand. Together they created the first accessories and handbags that gave birth to the Claramonte brand.
Claramonte is audacity, femininity and escapism. Claramonte is a tribal and chic universe, artisanal and contemporary, raw and sophisticated, with bohemian, ethnic and current creations that become instant favorites. Each piece is a story, each collection is a journey.