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Two peas in a pod: Longchamp and the 1st arrondissement of Paris

Love at first sight, and the magic lives on. They say birds of a feather flock together. A look at a couple of love birds.

26 October 2016   | 

It was love at first sight

Longchamp’s reputation started taking off almost 30 years ago, and it has become one of the biggest names in French fashion. While seeking the perfect Parisian niche for its creations, Director of Boutiques Michèle Cassegrain took a stroll down rue Saint-Honoré. Bowled over by the area’s cachet and pizzazz, she set up the first shop at 390 rue Saint-Honoré. A few years later, a second love child arrived: another boutique at #404.

 

Renewing their vows

A few months ago, a brightly colored tarp designed by artist Ryan McGinness went up in the middle of this century-old thoroughfare. Like a second honeymoon, the screen concealed a major project. Today Longchamp unveils a brand new face: a one-of-a-kind 700 m2 space designed as a promenade through some of its most stunning pieces.


A common value: Stay true to your roots

Walking down rue Saint-Honoré is like thumbing through a history book that even has a chapter on one of the oldest parts of Paris, Les Halles, whose roots date back to the Middle Ages. Now being run by the founder’s grandchildren, nothing could be more symbolic for this family-owned business so grounded in its humble beginnings and history than writing a new chapter in an area steeped in extraordinary history: the birthplace of the monarchy, stronghold of the Enlightenment and a meeting place for the Romantics that was Moliere’s home and Stendhal’s stomping ground.


A legendary place for a legendary company

Smack dab in the middle of the city, people all over the world consider the 1st arrondissement as ground zero for French chic. In the same vein, Longchamp projects the Parisian woman’s incomparable flair through its silhouettes and lines created by Sophie Delafontaine. It’s like a set of Russian dolls: France to Paris to the 1st arrondissement to rue Saint Honoré to Longchamp. All roads lead to the quintessential name in timeless prestige and style.

 

A true icon

The 1st arrondissement is a legendary district steeped in symbolism: the natural home for a design house devoted to its signature products that have stood the test of time. The Louvre Pyramid and classic bistros are to this area what horses and leather are to Longchamp: indelible marks of a powerful resonant force and universally recognizable brand identity.

 

A heritage of craftsmanship

From the Louvre Museum to the Maillol sculptures in the Jardin des Tuileries, from the Buren Columns to Gothic masterpiece that is the Sainte-Chapelle chapel, every inch of the 1st arrondissement is a showcase of age-old architectural mastery. The 18th century building sitting at 404 rue Saint Honoré is decked out in its Sunday best and boasting a hot new outfit fashioned by stonecutters. Push open the door and step into a temple of craftsmanship: custom cabinetry and marble work, a handmade iridescent leather mural, floors of walnut wood and strips of stone. Completely original interiors representing Longchamp’s unwavering demand for products made with master craftsmanship – a living testament to its creations.

 

The secret to a lasting relationship: curiosity

A long-term partnership with Jeremy Scott, daring designs and prints, an eye-popping tarp designed by Ryan McGinness, the truly unique feel of the newly opened space. “Longchamp has a penchant for innovation and this will come out in the boutique’s remodel,” exclaims Philippe Cassegrain. Nestled in the heart of a historic district and deeply rooted in culture with no fewer than 245 registered historic landmarks, the Saint-Honoré location was conceived as a museum for fashion lovers, a genuine sign of Longchamp’s desire to marry tradition and modern times, heritage and curiosity

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