Published on Nov 20, 2023 at 6:47 p.m.Updated Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:48 p.m.
Refuges from an anxious and uncertain period, the resurrections of vintage brands are multiplying in all spheres of the art of living; from “rebooted” television series to the cult chocolate Merveilles du Monde unveiled exclusively at the Grande Epicerie du Bon Marché, the temptation of the 80s revival is omnipresent. And fashion is not left out: from the rebirth of the Patou label to MicMac Saint-Tropez, the textile industry is still banking on nostalgia, reviving the shine of prestigious houses left dormant for decades .
The desire to revive a sleeping beauty is also the primary motivation of those who call themselves the Maries-Antoinette. A trio of entrepreneurs with complementary backgrounds made up of two sisters-in-law, both called Marie Mignon, and Antoinette Monnier, who undertook to relaunch the leather goods brand Soco. The first Marie Mignon evolved in fashion within brands such as Iro, Ba&sh or Isabel Marant, the second studied business law in the United States and the United Kingdom, while Antoinette Monnier worked at the house of Chloé , where she was in charge of digital marketing.
In search of new challenges, they set their sights on this cult leather goods house. Founded in 1932 in a tannery in the center of France before being taken over by the Le Tanneur group, Soco (company selling crafted leather objects) was able to shake up the world of handbags, in particular thanks to his “San Diego” collection which enjoyed worldwide success.
Why Soco? “After studying the current market, it seemed obvious to us to revive a dormant house rather than create yet another brand in an ultra-crowded sector with crazy competition,” explains Marie Mignon. “Soco was an obvious choice for the three of us. It is a house with a beautiful heritage, whose objects were ped down from mothers to daughters.
We also wanted to imagine sustainable products that are a thousand miles from fast fashion, so that the bags we currently carry will still suit our daughters in twenty years.”
Artisanal Italian tanneries
Her sister-in-law confirms: “My grandmother still has her Socos, her wallets like her bags, we were able to immerse ourselves in the history of the brand and recover many original models. All three of us loved its very western side, with thick leathers and contrasting stitching, we thought it was a timeless product that would fit perfectly today.” However, there is no question of offering the same models reproduced identically. The 2023 vintage Soco bags had to adapt to the demands of ultra-connected consumers, fans of practical and nomadic bags.
“Women today want useful and light bags, so we had to adapt them. We have added a quilted interior to our bags to hold your computer, the fanny pack has been reworked to be more versatile, both a belt bag and also a clutch with chain and leather handle.”
Eager to create an eco-responsible brand, the creative trio has demonstrated intransigence regarding its suppliers and its production methods: the Maries-Antoinette collaborate with artisanal Italian tanneries and human-scale workshops in Portugal.
“We wanted everything to be made in Europe, from the metalwork of the bag to the price card. It’s more expensive and slower, of course, but we were keen to embark on this project while honoring our values. That’s the whole point when we decide to revive very strong brands: they are Proust’s madeleines and we wanted to play on this effect of nostalgia while honoring the heritage of the brand. Our natural customers, those who bought Soco, at the time are delighted. There is emotion, they remember this it-bag from the 1980s which accompanied the strong moments of their lives. An emotion that new generations are preparing to experience.