“Being Well Read is in Fashion” – Olympia Le-Tan Book Clutches

“Je suis inspirée para ma vie, les choses qui m’entourent et la literature.”

Olympia Le-Tan, the designer who made literature fashionable.

Olympia Le-Tan has become quite the household fashion name.

This self-taught fashion designer studied and learnt with the classics, starting her career at the Chanel Studio with Karl Lagerfeld and venturing on to “Balmain where she worked closely with Gilles Dufour who then created his own brand with Olympia by his side”.

So how has Le-Tan contributed to the fashion industry?

▷ Click on the Vimeo link below ◁

By making Literature Cool & Trendy.

That’s right, from Melville’s Moby Dick, Camus’ La Peste and Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby. Geek Chic has taken on a whole new angle. Forget glasses and high-waisted trousers.

≤ Being well read is officially in fashion ≥

According to the Le-Tan’s bio on her brand’s official webpage:

“In 2009, she launched her eponymous accessories label, combining her two obsessions, embroidery (a talent she inherited from her grand-mother), and literature (a passion she shares with her father, French illustrator Pierre Le-Tan) to create one of a kind handbags and minaudières.

Ever since then, her old school one of a kind hand made clutches have been a favourite amongst a number of celebrities and street style photographers.

The brand’s signature book-clutch has been seen on Tilda Swinton, Natalie Portman or Clémence Poésy to name a few.

Natalia Vodianova


Chloe Sevigny | Moby Dick

Mirosalva Duna

Tilda Swinton  | Ant & Bee

Michelle Williams | Arthur Miller

…And my personal favourite…

Lolita wearing Natalie Portman

Other pieces belonging to the Olympia Book Clutch collection include limited editions of

Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête

Molière’s La Malade Imaginaire

Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

Emily Dickinson’s Complete Poems

Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye


World Things

Camus’ La Peste

Hats off to Olympia Le-Tan for turning classics works of art into trendy must-have items.

Who could ever have guessed that embroidery & literature would be this successful?

One could go as far as to state that this book clutch collection is more than just an accessory. Each item is in itself a combination of three different forms of creativity and art that greatly enriched mankind’s culture and sense of being.

Could it in be Lisbon?

A big fan of all things vintage, from records to food packaging and pornography, one can only wonder what will inspire Le-Tan’s future collections. (Lisbon perhaps?)

Olympia Le-Tan’s Lisbon snap shots, that appear on the designers personal blog

Apparently Le-Tan was very impressed with a local store that specializes in vintage portuguese products called “A Vida Portuguesa”

How cool would it be if she based a collection on Sabão Azul for example?

Below, Le-Tan who regurlarly featured in the blog Purple Diary.

Is Culture Really Cool?

At approximately $ 1000 a book, one can only wonder what percent of the adorners of the Olympia Book Clutch have actually read the a copy of the novel they sport so ostentatiously and proudly out and about town.

The question remains: Is culture really cool? Or is it just a fad/statement.

Eitherway,  one can only hope that this collection of Olympia’s favourite novels has inspired the often considered futile fashionistas to get an education and to cash in their Vogues for Sylvia Plaths.

Reading is cool, or at least, posing as readers is! 

The images in this post are taken from the official Olympia Le-Tan Website & Purple Diary



If you can’t afford a Le-Tan edition, my suggestion is to go for the much cheaper version of the real thing. I’m sure some DIY bloggers will come up with a way of creating a fake from an actual novel


Lot’s of love From a Lisboner in Madrid,



2 Responses to ““Being Well Read is in Fashion” – Olympia Le-Tan Book Clutches”
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  2. Teresita Valentita says:

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