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Lowell: at the heart of the company

Lowell : au coeur de l'entreprise

LOWELL backpacks have been making me melt for some time now, and what a pleasure it was to visit their new store at 5298 rue St-Laurent! Worthy of the most beautiful Instagram photos, the store will charm you with its old-fashioned decor... What about their SS17 collection, some of which are inspired by the 2017 Pantone color: Greenery PANTONE 15-0343. Following my visit to the store, I spoke with Mathieu Mudie, co-founder of LOWELL, about the little story that led to the creation of the brand.

Credit: Ariane Lessard

The beginning: RACHEL F.

Mathieu Mudie and Rachel Fortin, co-owners of the LOWELL brand, formed a creative and ambitious duo long before the creation of the latter. Their little story goes back ten years, when Rachel launched the Rachel F brand. Born of a passion for the fashion industry and the craftsmanship, Rachel wanted to introduce women's bags to the market quality, designed and manufactured here in Quebec. Her favorite materials: leather and recycled fur. It was shortly after the launch of the brand that Mathieu decided to join the adventure and dive headlong into the world of entrepreneurship.

The growth of the company being done little by little and Rachel not being able to supply the production of all the models, she decided to concentrate on the conception and the design, while the production was subcontracted externally, still in Quebec. It is through artisan fairs and a few points of sale in independent boutiques that the brand has made a name for itself in Quebec, in a few places in the rest of Canada, in the United States and abroad. international. Wanting to quietly regain control of the brand's products, Rachel and Mathieu quietly began to bring production in-house, starting with cutting and preparation and hiring a few people, until full production was done. in their studio.

Credit: Ariane Lessard

From creation to distribution

In order to have control over all stages, from creation to distribution, they then opened their own retail space: the LOWELL boutique. The latter brought together the products of the Rachel F brand, as well as other locally produced brands from all over the world, seeking above all the quality of manufacture in the products offered. Gradually, they began to introduce new bags, distinct from Rachel F and exclusive to the boutique. The couple had a strong desire to add men's bags to their offer and the Rachel F brand was simply no longer suitable for this type of product. From there was born the brand LOWELL; unisex bags adapted to their Montreal lifestyle: simple, urban and dreamy.

As Mathieu explained to me on the phone, “after 10 years, it's sometimes good to get together and start over to bring products that will appeal to consumers, but which will also meet our aspirations as creators and entrepreneurs; the Rachel F brand isn't dead, but we've taken a break for now.

Credit: Lowell

The birth of a new brand: LOWELL

Created in spring-summer 2016, the LOWELL brand is currently in its third collection. The launch of LOWELL allowed Rachel and Mathieu to start over with the basics in the designs, offering themselves a new aesthetic and a new branding. LOWELL allowed them to refocus on what they love and rediscover some of what they had lost over the years. LOWELL draws its inspiration from the entourage of the co-founders and their city: Montreal. As they describe it so well, the bags represent the Montreal lifestyle; a bilingual and multi-ethnic city, with its heart in Europe and its head in North America. It is by their casual, yet formal look that the bags stand out; bags designed to be practical, enhanced by design. LOWELL represents the perfect marriage between the values ​​of craftsmen and manufacturers and those of designers and creators.

This is why all the leathers used in the making of LOWELL bags are carefully developed in partnership with an American tannery. They are now the complete masters of their creation, choosing the desired leather finishes, their resistances and their colors.

It is therefore not the projects that are lacking for the duo that form Mathieu and Rachel. But above all, their next challenge will be to manage the workshop to make it as efficient as possible and increase production capacity to meet the growing demand.

Credit: Ariane Lessard

We strongly invite you to take a tour of their new store on St-Laurent and discover the beautiful brands they hold there. In addition, LOWELL will soon launch, in June, a collection of small leather accessories: purses and clutches. WE LOVE!

For more information about this company, you can always visit their member page !

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