Dive into the bowels of a bag and you'll discover that it's far from being an ordinary object. A real little world of its own, it reveals our most intimate secrets. The sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann has decided to take a close look at it by devoting a book to it(Le Sac - un petit monde d'amour, ed. Le Livre de Poche). We learn that the handbag is much more than a fashion accessory. It is a life companion, full of heterogeneous objects, which forges and tells our identity.
If outwardly the bag projects a certain image in the eyes of others, its contents are a mysterious and personal universe in which "essential", "functional", "just in case" objects meet, but also treasures, those objects that we cannot abandon and that are part of us. Messenger bag, clutch bag, tote bag, backpack, handbag or shoulder bag, whatever its shape and use, the bag has become an extension of oneself.
After having chosen it for its aesthetics and its practicality, we establish a tactile and particular relationship with it, a clever mix between the functional, the emotional and the relational.
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Behind the oxymoron, a - very small - bag that never leaves me and brings me back to the essential:
WHAT DO WE REALLY NEED?
I wear it on my shoulder every day, summer and winter. It goes with everything, ennobles the most banal outfit and softens the craziest one. It challenges: from "Where did you find this?" to "Just sublime but... Where did you find this?"!!!
Where? In a small shop-workshop of the old Versailles in which we had taken refuge, one day of heavy rain, my best friend Coco and me. It was in May, on his birthday, almost four years ago.
There, the young master of the place, Damien Béal, welcomes us, tells us about his singular journey and presents us his creations of wood - sorry, poplar - and leather. God that this mixture is beautiful. I think that it nails it, which is not an easy thing to do!
So when, three months later, I discover that my birthday present is none other than the crunchy bag I was raving about that day, words fail me to express my gratitude to my Dear Coco.
Since then, like her, he accompanies me in the good and bad days, relieves me of the superfluous and supports me with lightness.
Until then, I had a lot of bags in my closet, of all shapes, materials and brands. Always bigger, fuller, more distorted, it was never the right one and it was always too much. But that was BEFORE.
BEFORE my Pinocchio bag, which is not "just anything imported from who knows where", but a being of leather and wood, born somewhere, in the heart of the venerable St Louis district of Versailles, from the imagination and know-how of a modern-day Gepetto who smells good excellence and happy sobriety.
This Gepetto is called Damien Béal and, did you know, he named his creature :
THE BARE MINIMUM
I have the answer to my question!"
The Strict Minimum - August 2016 / Cat
"Between the Strict Minimum and the Minimum +, my heart sways. One thing is for sure, I can't part with my DB bags anymore.
I have to admit that I'm pretty messy, so I better not show you the inside of my bags. I put away all my little mess: a multitude of receipts, cards of all kinds, my youngest's pacifier, tissues, keys and a whole bunch of grigris. I particularly like the small size of these two shoulder bags, ideal as a young mom with the stroller in one hand and the schoolbag in the other. Beyond the artisanal aspect of these bags and their singular aesthetics, what touches me the most is their propensity to create a link between people. On many occasions, I have started discussions with people who were intrigued by my bag. Just goes to show that some bags can have unsuspected powers... "
The Strict Minimum - November 2016 / The Minimum + - March 2018 / Karen M.
"I have several Damien Beal bags, and I am very happy with each piece, in terms of style and quality.
I've had the Ninetta model for several years, I find it particularly chic and timeless. Moreover, it has a good support, you can put it down, it's like an art object. I wear it most often for special occasions (weddings, interviews, parties...) and each time, I am told about it. It is noticeable. And wood is very intriguing. I carry it in my hand, and now I really feel like a movie actress! "
La Ninetta - April 2017/ Slanelle
Also, it is so timeless, that I never get tired of it! Besides, 4 years later, I still get compliments on the originality and beauty of the bag! In short, a very nice investment!"
L'Entre-Deux - May 2016 / Flavie D.
"I wear my Strict Minimum like a piece of jewelry or clothing.
I've been wearing this bag for a year, although I have others in my wardrobe, but this one has been with me every day since my husband gave it to me. Like a piece of jewelry or a garment, it dresses up a casual outfit or brings an extra touch of sophistication to a formal outfit. More practical than a simple pouch thanks to its handle, I wear it as a satchel or on my shoulder depending on the circumstances. Its compact size allows me to store my essentials for the day or for an evening and even those of my husband who used to go out without a bag until I gave him an Entre-Deux bag from Damien Béal 🙂 "
The Strict Minimum January 2019 / Estelle B.
" My little reliquary is truly my secondary brain.
I store what I value most as a musician. My phone to stay in touch with my loved ones. A notebook to be sure not to lose any idea of text since we know when the inspiration arrives, never when it leaves 😉 Finally I put my favorite dictaphone on which I record all my ideas of melodies. As a traveling musician, I travel alone a lot and need emotional security. With my bag by my side, I know that nothing can happen to me.
Le Petit Reliquaire April 2016 / Tété
"I love the idea of bearing witness to the history of our DB bag so I'm going for it!
Arrived at the beginning of 2016 in Versailles rue Royale, we made the discovery of Damien and his creations. I've been looking for a small bag for a while to avoid taking my "home" with me when I go to the restaurant, the cinema or the market... but I hesitate and I don't go through with it. Over time, a partnership with Roberel is made and there I flash on a strict in special edition, but it is not for sale ... time passes the bag evolves with a new buckle closure, more streamlined, more modern and the range of leather also expands: more colors including flashy, textured leather ... but I still hesitate.
I'm expecting my first child and so when I'm resting at home I often spend time at Damien's we chat and one day I pass with my mom in front of the store and she offers me the bare minimum in honor of my pregnancy, we are in January 2019! I had thought and dreamed so much about this bag that I knew exactly what I wanted, the order was placed and the challenge was launched for Damien to produce it before the birth! Challenge taken (22/02/2019 D-8 before the arrival of the little wolf).
Since then, without really realizing it, the bag has never left me, it is MY BAG. It's funny that yesterday I was sorting out my bags (confinement obliges) and now I realize that my DB is actually my bag! Initially a fan of large bags with all kinds of stuff inside, useful things and others less so, heavy sometimes and which deform the bag in the process... I've been looking for the perfect bag for a long time, and I think that's what made me hesitate because the strictness is the opposite of what I usually wear...
So yesterday I sat down (the idea of the submarine testimony and the sorting out I had just done) and I realized one great thing, which is that besides the fact that I met a great friend and artist, it is that this bag has disciplined me and finally changed the way I use them. Everything is neat and tidy but above all I only have the essentials and that is a pleasure to use every day!
This bag is sober, chic and casual at the same time.
Yesterday I said to my husband after all this reflection: "but how could I have hesitated so long"?
Thank you Damien "