I have been searching for just the right line of small leathergoods for the ASW store for a couple of years now, and my recent visit to Paris had as one of its objectives finally coming face to face with the mysterious Vassant Faugoo, the genius behind Beynat et Janniaux.
Beynat is not very well known in the United States but the firm claims to employ about fifty people who make wonderful things from ostrich, alligator, lizard, python and stingray. I say apparently because I have never been able to get in contact with them. They do not respond to emails sent to the address on their web site, nor do they return telephone messages, at least not those left by men in San Francisco. No problem, I thought to myself, when presented with my irresistable charm surely we will be able to talk about doing business.
At any rate, on my shopping day in Paris the other day I hired a car and driver and made the not inconsiderable trek out to rue Montiboeufs in the 20th to see Beynat for myself. The workshop is up a small alley, and after knocking on that door I was directed to another, unmarked entrance behind which I was promised lay the office. I duly rang the bell and after a short wait was greeted by a woman. I told her my story, visiting from San Francisco, blah, blah blah and she responded that I had to have an appointment. When asked how I could be expected to get an appointment when no-one returned emails or telephone messages, she repeated that I needed an appointment. When asked if I could make an appointment for the following day she responded that I needed to call.
Perhaps it was the wool challis bow tie worn with a pin striped suit. Or it could have been the pigskin tassel slipons. But I am still looking for just the right line of leathergoods.