Craft / April 2018

Cinabre Paris' Sartorial Icebreakers

Famed for its lapel flowers, French artisanal accessories house Cinabre is dedicated to savoir-faire, subtle self-expression and starting conversations.

Black and white spot silk flower lapel pin, Cinabre; navy herringbone jacket, Sciamat; navy and white long sleeve Breton shirt, Armor Lux. Styling by Jo Grzezsczek, photograph by Olivier Barjolle.

Seven years ago, the Cinabre brand was born when then 30-year-old Alexandre Chapellier quit a prosperous career in the stock market to reinvigorate an artisanal Loire Valley tie-making workshop. Forging distribution partnerships with leading retailers including Neiman Marcus, Isetan, Colette and Le Bon Marché, Alexandre’s debonair designs quickly captured the attention of Japanese, American and French customers — not least, that country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, who recently appointed Cinabre his official tie-maker.

Having expanded its collection beyond ties and bow ties to include small leather goods, scarves and bags, it’s Cinabre’s lapel flowers (handmade in Paris, and available in an array of made-to-order and pret-a-porter styles) that have won the brand the most attention of late. It’s a dandyish accessory, to be sure. However, Chapellier says, “The lapel flower is a great opportunity to bring style to any men’s look. It does not need to be flamboyant and colourful. Actually, we usually advise for a first lapel flower to choose a ‘low-profile’ one — though that does not mean boring or classic.”

By low profile, Chapellier elaborates, “We mean a flower tone-on-tone with your jacket. If you are used to wearing a dark blue jacket we would recommend you to buy a dark blue lapel flower. We consider it very chic and Parisian to wear a lapel flower with the same colour as your jacket but with a ‘fabric twist’. Let’s say you wear a classic worsted wool jacket; you could choose a velvet or tweed lapel flower. It is very discrete but it brings so much style.”

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Christian Barker

Christian Barker is The Rake's Asia editor-at-large, a frequent contributor to this site, and an enthusiastic consumer of fine whiskies, sashimi and classic disco music - ideally in unison.