The Creator

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PINEL et PINEL emerged from the creativity and “savoir-faire” of a single person: Fred Pinel.

The scene takes place in a family home in the Paris region where Fred’s grandparents held an open house every weekend during his childhood, with fireworks in the garden courtesy of his grandfather who made jokes and played tricks of every kind. The huge attic resembled the cave of Ali Baba, and inevitably there were suitcases stored up in it. One in particular would leave Fred Pinel transfixed when the house was about to be sold. He called it “a revelation”. Once transformed, the suitcase, fitted with a hand-sewn handle thanks to the help of one of the best leather workers in France, would serve as a showcase for the cigar case collection. End of the first act...

Fred Pinel and Picasso

On the day of his Baccalaureate art exam Pinel produced a strange portrait of Picasso in camaïeu, in homage to the artist’s famous ‘blue period’, on top of which he placed a second purple portrait which he placed onto the first one cutting it into a collage. He received a mark of 18/20 for the exam and had unveiled an innate love for taking the road less travelled when it came to the creative arts. Breaking the norms became his mantra. It would be an understatement to say that his first year of studying law was unsuccessful and this led to him leaving France for England. He fell head first into the cauldron of avant-garde London. On his return to Paris he formed an advertising agency; it was not his dream job but it was a period full of life lessons which allowed him to proceed by elimination, crossing off the things he didn’t enjoy doing in the search to find his calling. Namely this was “putting stars in people’s eyes”. Allergic to the ordinary, his search would not stop as he closed in to the “universe of wonder” otherwise known as luxury goods.

In the late 90s, Fred began to make bags using leather and camouflage canvas, but they were lacking what was needed to be recognized: Fred himself as an artist was unknown. This was a time when the market of luxury goods was beginning to grow. In order to enter this scene that exudes irresistibility, Fred would pass through a small window into the world of cigar lovers. With his head in the stars, Fred got to work. Fueled by pop art – including works by Keith Haring and Andy Warhol – he was like a child plunging his palette into a bag of Haribo sweets. 157 incredible colors emerge for crocodile skin cigar cases which very quickly garnered the attention of Colette and cigar smokers all over the world. This then led to humidors, lighters, card holders, watches and cufflinks.

Fred Pinel’s imagination was racing

A brand of trunks hadn’t been born in France for over a century. But in the flea markets, everybody was looking for one. At the beginning of the 21th century, hedonistic apprentices are once again dreaming of the lost paradise of childhood. Thus Pinel & Pinel was founded.

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