partoem montreal
Photography by Dominic Lachance.

Montreal Handbag Brand Partoem Launches Accessories for Dogs

New chic leather collars are done in the label's signature colours.

Timing is everything, and the launch of accessories for dogs from Montreal brand Partoem comes at a point when taking your furry friend for a walk is an even bigger mental health helper than ever before. The idea for the new line came from designer Madeleine Beaulieu’s mother, a graphic designer who has collaborated on her daughter’s leather goods line since its founding in 2017. “We always had dogs in our family,” says Beaulieu, adding that she’s in the process of adopting a retired racing greyhound.

Not only do the collars and leashes allow customers to coordinate their own Partoem purchase with what their pooch is wearing; it’s also a way for Beaulieu to minimize the amount of refuse her Montreal studio creates during the production of its striking bags, wallets and keychains. “The more variety of sizes and different types of products that you have, the more you can reduce your waste,” she notes.

Photography by Dominic Lachance.

Working within conscientious perimeters has always been part of the Partoem design process, with Beaulieu selecting a limited colour range to work with based on the scope of what vegetable tanning practices can accomplish. “When leather is natural and not bleached, it’s a nice orangey-beige colour,” she says. Partoem offers an array of sleek products in red, orange, burgundy and black which have been dyed using carrots and beetroot, among other veggies. “I have a preference for warm tones for leather [and] colours that can be achieved naturally,” Beaulieu says.

The qualities given to leather after vegetable tanning also lends to Beaulieu’s creativity by virtue of how the material responds to manipulation. Coming from a background in industrial design, she has a specific mindset for conceptualizing her pieces in terms of construction and shape. “I need my materials to have a certain quality,” Beaulieu says. “Vegetable tanned leather has the ability to remember certain folds and shapes. Not only is it more environmentally-friendly, but it has properties that I’m looking for for my structured bags.”

Photography by Dominic Lachance.

There’s a subtle elegance to Partoem’s aesthetic which particularly resonates with shoppers who are now confronting their consumption habits in a more forceful and considered way. In fact, Beaulieu has noticed an increase in sales since the start of the COVID-19 quarantine, and is hopeful the global community’s shifting mindset will continue to be a boon for her business and other independent brands across the country.

“I’m happy that I’m still functional and can supply the demand,” Beaulieu says, highlighting that because Partoem is a small operation and she has an inventory of materials to work with so she can create pieces herself, she hasn’t faced the hardships of bigger labels that outsource these production components. “I’m optimistic that things will continue to grow for me.”

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