SATC's Candice Bergen reveals to LD why she prefers painting on designer handbags rather than canvas
FEBRUARY 16, 2018
Interview by Stefanie Rodriguez
Photography by Lydia Bittner-Baird
Candice Bergen took time away from the workroom where “she never sleeps” to talk with Le Doguin about her trickiest commissions, most notable clientele, and where the fortunes of her empire are going.
Here, at Le Doguin, we have always had a serious soft-spot for anything monogrammed; from towels to jewelry, what better way to mark your territory – or, better still, your totes?
Well, one of our favourite actresses (and coincidentally one of our favourite Instagram accounts), Candice Bergen, has all the answers to our hearts’ monogrammed desires.
Last year she launched, BergenBags, where she personalizes clients’ designer bags with painted renderings of their loyal companions, sur-mésure.
Vanity Fair’s Derek Blasberg was Bergen’s first canine commission: his dachshund, Monster, featured with a scarf on a Louis Vuitton vanity case which he reserves for the accessory. The work received rave reviews from Blasberg, who was especially pleased by Bergen’s attention to detail of Monster’s manhood.
And although she wishes not to diminish the well-endowed dachshund, she disclosed to Le Doguin that he isn’t her only famous pet – she has also painted Barbra Streisand’s Tuleas de Coton, Miss Fanny, as well as Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen’s mini-Australian Shepherd, Arthur.
If the celebrity allure wasn’t enough to order your custom pooch pochette, BergenBag’s philanthropic touch will surely do the trick. Prices range between $300 to $2000 depending on the intricacy of the work, “The most time-consuming are the little white, fluffy dogs because you have to give texture to their fur and it takes forever” explains Bergen, who works from photographs of the pets. The donations go to either the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, “a wonderful organization that helps dogs and animals nationwide” or to the Natural Resources Defense Council which is dedicated to, as Bergen puts it, “maintaining what is left of the environment”.
While Bergen was first hesitant to demand financial recompense for her works, “I was embarrassed to charge people, my first clients were friends!”, she has since raised over $40,000 for the charitable organizations.
When we pointed out that Bergen could have quite the empire on her hands and asked if she planned any future expansions into other leather goods, she replied “I have to smile because I work at the table in our breakfast room. It is covered in paints and bags. I have thought at times
of including shoes or belts but don’t want to get into a situation where the pleasure
becomes stress. J’aime bien éviter le stress”.
Did we not mention Bergen is also fluent in French?
A woman truly after Le Doguin’s monogram-loving heart.
Photography by Tim Hout