Launched November 2008, Meilleur Ami makes niche men's accessories in Paris whose name is their promise—designs that behave like best friends. So strict is founder Fabien Larchez' BFF criteria that only two designs, the perfect bag and the perfect scarf, made it in the current collection.
"A good accessory can very quickly become your best friend," says Larchez, while modeling his ingenious 080 scarf. A zero-shaped infinity loop made from a piece of fabric with invisibly seamed ends, the scarf twists in the center to form a figure eight and then drapes around the neck for instant style and coverage.
Larchez uses his background in fashion (he worked in the biz for 20 years before launching Meilleur Ami) to source unusual and luxurious fabrics for his scarves, which a small textile atelier fabricates in the outskirts of Paris. Produced in limited series of three to six scarves per fabric, they come in a smorgasbord of patterns and textures to suit every climate and occasion—silk, cotton and linen for summer, cashmere, wool and even leather for winter.
Applying the same philosophy of function and style to the second half of his house, a textile factory that supplies to the French army makes the Meilleur Ami bag in the Picardie region of France. The bag is a godsend, plain and simple. Ample enough to hold a weekendâ€™s worth of stuff, chic enough to take to a meeting and light enough to sling around your neck for a day of biking around town, it can be worn three ways: by hand, across the chest or on the shoulder.
Supple, resistant and good-looking, Larchez produces the bags in limited series using the finest skins and fabrics from Europe. The materials and colors change each season, and soon can be customized on demand.
Larchez tests each model for its weight and resistance to the elements, including his own arm hair. "I use the same zipper supplier as Chanel because their zippers are sturdy and don't catch the hairs on your arm. It's a little detail, but it makes all the difference."
Bags run from €450-600 and Scarves €50-75 at OFR (Paris), Bergdorf Goodman (New York) and Lane Crawford (Hong Kong).
See more images after the jump.