The designer, FRED PINEL

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 process of 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.