The Idealist

Modern Heroes – Impression Originale

Impression Originale

With the aim to make a lasting impression, Mathilde Habert and Claire Commeau founded Impression Originale, offering exclusive luxury wrapping paper and couture bows and ribbons. A year on, with stockists such as the Conran Shop, Harvey Nichols, Château de Versailles and Paris department store Le Bon Marché, Mathilde tells us more.

We believe that true luxury is the attention to detail and the unique emotion you experience, which will stay with you long after the gift is gone. Our aim is to rethink the art of giving with our beautiful products.

Creative Beginnings

IDEALIST: We love the original, colourful, and creative world of Impression Originale, can you tell us how it began?

I was inspired to approach the art of wrapping gifts in a novel and creative way, founded in ethical sustainability. Claire and I give priority to creativity and we have no limits so, like most businesses, we had an idea and we’re growing with it.

Impression Originale

IDEALIST: For someone new to your brand how would you best describe it?

What do you remember when you receive a gift? For us it’s the emotion that you feel, the hidden message within in the gift, the time and care it beholds. We believe that true luxury is the attention to detail and the unique emotion you experience, which will stay with you long after the gift is gone. Our aim is to rethink the art of giving with our beautiful products.

Being Friendly with the Environment

IDEALIST: Can you explain your commitment to the environment and the art community.

Our business is built on good ethics with all products responsibly made in France using 100% recycled paper. Caring for the environment is about the different decisions we make everyday, such as where we source our paper and what kind of supplies we work with. We left nothing to chance. In parallel, we decided to give a crafty touch to our business, going back to a local approach in production whilst always keeping our eyes open for new inspirations and artists.

IMPRESSION_ORIGINALE WrapsIDEALIST: We’d love to know your process of finding and collaborating with artists.

You would be surprised, the process is actually quite ad hoc. We select the artist by “coup de coeur” (roughly love at first sight for the designs), whether we like the style, the spirit or a particular design. We usually approach the artist (or get approached by artists) and if a specific design matches our collective artistic orientation, we agree to work on an original design. We work with the artist to best format it for our wrapping format and technical specifications and they sign each design. It’s a fun and very creative process.

we offer original designs, printed on 100% recycled paper made in France in a sustainable and ethical manner.

Daring to be Different

IDEALIST: What sets your products apart form other gift wrap?

In a nutshell we would say that we offer original designs, printed on 100% recycled paper made in France in a sustainable and ethical manner.

Our wraps are on XL sheets, which are substantially larger than the current standard in the industry. We also use a mechanical printing process, which gives very deep and colourful prints and makes this glossy aspect. Each wrap is doubled-side printed with a grid to make sure you get this perfect cut and we suggest matching ready-to-use ribbons and bows to compliment each design wrap.

We also ask our designers to sign their artworks which we think is quite unique in the wrapping paper world. Our inspiration came from artists signing their artwork when they create luxury pieces such as a scarf for Hermès (Claire is coming from textile design so that explains a lot!). It’s a nice way to recognise the unique artistry that goes into each work.

Impression OriginaleIDEALIST: Are you able to tell us about any bespoke projects you have worked on?

With the Musée Rodin in Paris we have been asked to work on a surprise project. We have chosen one of our collaborative artists to develop a bespoke design based on the beautiful statues of Auguste Rodin and gave it a modern twist. We feel very lucky to be able to work with these beautiful names and very inspiring places. We have also an on-going bespoke project with the Château de Versailles, where we have developed some commissioned designs based on the castle’s iconography. The designs are gorgeous and we cannot wait to see the final results in their boutiques next year!

From Seedling to Flowering

IDEALIST: How your business has grown? 

We are just about a year old and are happy to see that our products have been well received as we are not only selling design wraps, we have a philosophy behind it, and I believe this makes the difference in our clients’ eyes. Our current stockists are: the Conran Shop, the Centre Pompidou, the Bon Marché, Harvey Nichols and we’d love to add other boutiques and museums to our list.

A Hero’s Hero

IDEALIST: Who are your design heroes and how have they influenced you?

Sonia Delaunay is a major one. We were so happy to see that she has been recently presented in exhibitions in Tate Modern and Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris. She is a key figure in modern textile design, really. Also Anni Albers’ work on texture and colors has been inspiring us to give diversity of textures and work in depth on the colorways. Hella Jongerius is another influence for her passion of colours and textile. We love how she kept doing experiments with colours on her design even after so many years in design. She kept a fresh eye “Garder un œil neuf” and we are aiming at that too!

IMPRESSION_ORIGINALE Gift WrapsFuture Aspirations

IDEALIST: What’s next for Impression Originale and what are your aspirations for the future?

There are lots of aspirations for the future. We are looking at other ways of wrapping, with innovative material to really push the sustainability aspect to its limits.

We are also working on the western Furoshiki, which the traditional Japanese way of wrapping presents. In Japan, they use textile to wrap! It is for us a great challenge to translate that in our more western culture, but we love the sustainability of the use of fabric and the endless creative options it opens! We love challenges, so let us see where it brings us.

You can find out more at www.impressionoriginale.com

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All photos courtesy of Impression Originale.

  • Helen is a fabric designer and lives with her husband and two sons near Bath. She grew up by the sea in Cornwall and is reinventing a modern coastal look of interiors with her debut collection in a minimal graphic design inspired style. Passionate about pattern, Helen is constantly capturing images on her phone for potential design inspiration.

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