Béatrice Amblard, The Artist
April in Paris is the boutique and workshop of master leather artisan Béatrice Amblard. The sleek, sun-drenched location on colorful Clement Street is well known to Bay Area devotees for its extraordinary custom accessories. All items are handcrafted using centuries-old traditional methods, and every item is one-of-a-kind.
French born, Béatrice has more than 40 years of experience in her uncommon trade. She was just 16 when she enrolled in the prestigious Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris. Immediately after graduation, Béatrice was hired by Hermès in Paris as an apprentice leather artisan. In 1987, Hermès invited her to San Francisco as an “Ambassador” to their newly opened San Francisco boutique. She was only the second Hermès employee to work in the U.S. After working on the infamous “Kelly” bag and designing custom leather goods for fourteen years, Béatrice launched her own line, April in Paris at a South of Market workshop. She quickly built up a loyal following and in 2000, Béatrice expanded her business and opened a boutique and workshop on Clement Street. Béatrice is the only Hermès artisan designing under her own label, as well as owning a boutique in the United States.
"In the fashion world, where almost everything is mass produced, it is the ultimate luxury to own custom handcrafted leather accessories."
Béatrice Amblard is best known for her custom handbags, finished with the classic saddle stitch, in the same tradition that has been done for over 200 years. All of her bags are marked with her logo, an 18-karat gold or sterling silver bee. The bee represents the shortened version of her name, Béa, and it is what everyone calls her.
In addition to handbags, Béatrice designs an array of accessories including: briefcases, wallets, watchstraps, belts, coin purses, checkbook holders, money clips, key chains, bookmarks... And larger items such as furniture, car and plane interiors. Béatrice works primarily with French tanneries and uses a variety of the finest leathers including calf, alligator, ostrich and stingray. Clients have the pleasure of working personally with her to design their creations, she can create anything a customer desires. Clients may select from a large inventory of leathers that are kept on the premises, as well as from an enormous array of swatch cards, custom colors may be ordered at the request of the client. Currently, there is a five-month wait for a custom handbag because Béatrice's work has become so coveted but there are plenty of beautiful handmade bags and accessories in stock and for sale at the boutique.
Your imagination is the limit...