From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Instant Classic: Peau de Chagrin

A new accessories company is named for a famous Balzac work.

Photography by Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images.


The Last Word on the US Open

Carvell Wallace on greatness, Serena, and the US Open’s best menswear.

LifeLabs MegaWarm: The Best Winter Jacket


The World’s Warmest Jacket

This deliciously pillowy puffer — made from 87% recycled materials — will keep you...

How to Shop Vintage


How to Shop Vintage

“Euphoria” costume designer Heidi Bivens talks retro hunting.

If you’re already familiar with Honoré de Balzac’s fantastical morality tale La peau de chagrin, don’t get too hung up on possible parallels with a new accessories company by the same name. Founded by the visual artist Sofie Guerrero and the fashion publicist Mesh Chhibber, the highly abbreviated Peau de Chagrin line (just a handsome shoulder bag and a cuff are on offer for now) does not grant the bearer wishes or shrink like the enchanted piece of shagreen does in the tale. But pull back a little to Balzac’s larger themes about consumption, greed, and waste and things start to come into focus. With an emphasis on durability and practicality, all Peau de Chagrin pieces are handmade by a single artisan in the Jura Mountains and produced in a limited run of 100. A copy of Balzac’s work comes with the shoulder bag, the brand’s first release. In subsequent years, Peau de Chagrin will publish new editions of works from the late-19th-century Decadent literary movement.


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.