Discovered: WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie™
they’re identical twin brothers. they speak French and English perfectly. they created a carryall-turned-clutch bag exclusively for us that our entire office is obsessed with. so, yes, we were pretty excited to take a look inside the Chelsea studio of Dexter and Byron Peart, the design duo behind the cult travel-goods line WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie.
Dexter and Byron were photographed in their Chelsea showroom. They split their time between here and Montreal, where they design the line.


We’ve got to ask: What’s the story behind your name?
It literally means “want the essentials of life.” The name captures our desire to stick to the essentials and create a curated selection of products for specific situations.

How did growing up in Canada influence your design aesthetic?
We’ve been living in Montreal for the better part of 15 years now, so that’s where we call home. We grew up speaking French and English, so there has always been juxtaposition between European and American sensibilities in our lives. The brand has that duality too: It’s uptown and downtown, French and English, for women and men, technologically forward thinking and steeped in history.





Tell us about the materials you use.
Everything starts with the quality of the raw materials for us. We travel all around the world asking people what’s new, what they’re excited about. We use sustainable organic cotton, leather from a tannery in Italy and even go to a show for the most technologically innovative zippers in Tokyo, Japan, every year!

What’s it like working together as brothers?
Although we’re identical twins, we have very different reference points, but we’re both super-committed to making the best product possible. We travel together and design together, balance each other and challenge each other’s ideas. I don’t know how many twins have the luxury of working together, but it definitely works for us—we even live in the same building!

What are you inspired by?
Definitely the building we live in, in Montreal. It was built in 1967 but still feels so relevant. We’re always trying to push ourselves to create designs that will still feel relevant in 50 years’ time.



What are your three travel essentials?
1. An iPad. (We’re constantly on ours.)
2. Our Liberty Travel Wallet. It was one of the first pieces we made in the collection, and we made it as organized and functional as possible.
3. Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm—it has the most beautiful scent.
Photography by Bryan Derballa.

Shop our WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie for J.Crew large two-way tote from our Discovered assortment here.

Follow @jcrew for an inside look at our adventures with #Discovered on Twitter and Instagram.
Notes
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