In the fourth arrondissement of Paris, on the Île de la Cité, a small island between the Marais and the Jardin du Luxembourg, there is a small flower market. Recently, it was the unexpected site of a jewelry presentation: Stephanie D’heygere launched her eponymous accessories brand in one of the market’s green steel pavilions where a variety of seasonal and exotic flowers are sold daily.
“I really wanted a showroom that represented the heart of the collection and the brand,” says the Belgian-born, Paris-based designer, who has spent the past seven years at many major fashion houses. D’heygere’s creations were displayed on the shelves of the flower shop: a line of petite leather bags, semi-sheer belts and cleverly designed jewelry – playful and delightfully idiosyncratic pieces. “I had this idea of designing jewelry that can carry flowers for a very long time. It never really felt right to pitch this idea to one of my clients, which made me realize that this is a very personal idea that I prefer to keep to myself.
This first collection is called “The Flower Shop”, and flowers are at the heart of the mark of heygere. “I love buying fresh flowers,” D’heygere says, “and I kept thinking, how cool would it be if I could go to the florist and just pick out a flower to match my outfit?”
D’heygere is something of an industry insider. She studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp hoping to work at Chanel. Then, she says, she “accidentally found herself at Margiela, a brand I never would have considered at first. It turned out to be the best opportunity ever. When I left school I was trained to be a fashion designer – I never thought I would become an accessories designer.
From 2011, she evolved from trainee to assistant at Maison Martin Margiela and then became head of jewelry. After a year-long stint as a freelancer in 2015 — she counts Y/Project among her clients — D’heygere took on the role of senior jewelry designer at Dior. Then she chose the freelance path again. “The time seemed right,” she says of her decision to strike out on her own. “I had some ideas and some money in the bank. It took me about a year and a half; I postponed the launch of the collection twice because I really wanted it to be perfect.
A look at his pieces clearly shows how much thought D’heygere has put into his brand. Instead of trying to create the next “it” bag – the era of which is arguably over – she offers accessories that can be incorporated into outfits, in the most literal sense. Several models have keychain clips that allow the wearer to attach the piece to clothing or other accessories. Some of his small leather goods are inspired by the archetypes of jeans pockets and sunglasses cases. There are pairs of gloves that can double as moonlight chokers. And a fanny pack could easily be mistaken for rolled up sweater sleeves. “I really like ordinary objects and turning them into luxury accessories,” she says.
D’heygere also values functionality. She describes a leather card holder from the collection that serves as both a necklace and a wearable mirror. “I always wear lipstick, so I find it super convenient to be able to look in the mirror in case I need a touch-up,” she explains, “I don’t think I’ll be able to design something that I wouldn’t wear.”
But perhaps its most distinctive pieces are the Canister Hoops: oversized earrings with a circular opening at the bottom that can hold small objects like flowers – or cigarettes, as shown on the brand’s Instagram page. . “Accessories are meant to accessorize your outfit,” the designer says with a smile, “But now with D’heygere, you can actually accessorize your accessories.”