Longchamp Has It in the Bag Outlet Online

– The French brand has managed to capture the hearts of heads of state and pop stars, all with an inexpensive nylon tote.

The Longchamp Le Pliage tote is nothing if not versatile.

For Kimberly Harvey, a 34-year-old in New York City, it’s an overnight bag for when she visits her parents in New Jersey (“I stuff and go,” she says).

For Sharona Haroonian, a high school senior from Philadelphia, it’s a book bag (“Literally everyone at my school has one”).

For Mel Kim, a Los Angeles-based graphic designer, it’s a gym bag (“The nylon is so sturdy that I don’t care what I throw in”).

For Tina Craig, a co-founder of the blog BagSnob, it’s an extra bag to stuff in her suitcase when she goes on vacation (“I fold it, and then when I shop too much, it just becomes my carry-on”).

For Paul Danton, a 45-year-old HR professional, it’s an emergency birthday gift he bought last-minute for his wife (“She has the small one in a few colors, so I’m pretty sure she’ll like the large one”).

The trapezoidal nylon bag with leather handles and a signature flap comes in all sorts of sizes and colors and has been Longchamp’s bread and butter since it first came onto the market in 1993. Everyone from Kate Middleton to Angela Merkel to Miley Cyrus to Karlie Kloss to your own mom (or aunt or cousin or all of the above) has one. Suzy Menkes has admitted she collects them.

The Le Pliage is not an It bag — it’s far too ubiquitous for that. It’s not hard to get your hands on one, and they sell for just $95 to $145. Ten totes are sold every minute, with more than 32 million sold since their debut 23 years ago. How has the humble Le Pliage remained a reliable bestseller for nearly two decades when so many other handbag trends have come and gone?

The French Longchamp Outlet brand is valued at $1.5 billion by Forbes, due in large part to the Le Pliage. While its business is big, it’s considerably smaller than that of its publicly-traded competitors Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Coach. Still, Longchamp is able to hold its own against these accessory giants — and its story begins with pipes.

In post-war Paris, Jean Cassegrain, the son of a prominent tobacconist, pivoted the direction of his father’s Au Sultan tobacco shop by introducing accessories made of leather. During the early 1940s, Allied soldiers were Jean’s father’s best customers, frequently visiting the small store on Boulevard Poissonnière to buy conventional smoking pipes. Once the war was over though, business was weak and the shop needed to diversify. Jean decided to debut leather-enveloped pipes for men in 1948, imitating techniques used by horse saddlers. Customers took a real liking to the luxury pipes; Elvis Presley allegedly even had one, according to the LA Times.

“There wasn’t an American GI in Europe who didn’t have one of these pipes at the time,” Jean Cassegrain, the current CEO of Longchamp and grandson (and namesake) of the brand’s founder, told the International Herald Tribune back in 1998. “They were exported and sold in PXs worldwide. That’s how it all started.”

Following the success of the leather pipes, the brand rolled out a pipe for its female customers, “the Lady,” and in 1955 expanded into other leather accessories, including cigar cases, lighters, ashtrays, cigarette dispensers, wallets, and passport holders. The family originally wanted to call the brand “Cassegrain,” but because a cousin was using the name for a family-run grain-milling business, they settled on Longchamp Outlet Online, a reference to the famous Parisian racetrack in the Bois de Boulogne, since leather goods are commonly associated with equestrianism. To this day, the brand’s logo is a jockey on a galloping horse.

Because the Cassegrains’ business roots were in tobacco, the family already had access to trade routes. In fact, Longchamp was one of the first European companies to trade with Japan, notes InStore Magazine. By 1960, its smoking accessories were sold in nearly 100 countries, and Longchamp began to produce men’s travel bags; the Cassegrains claim they were the first to create luggage made of nylon. Around this time, the family started to think about women’s accessories. According to WWD, many female shoppers in America were buying the men’s bags and requesting store buyers inquire about a women’s collection.

So in 1971, Longchamp debuted its first women’s bag, just one year before the first Jean Cassegrain passed away and his wife and son Philippe took over the family business. The “LM line,” which was first sold in Japan, was made of calfskin leather and featured horses silkscreened over a crisscross pattern (an edition of this original bag was reissued a few years ago to celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary). The bags were an instant success and helped the brand spread rapidly across Asia. As Longchamp began to gain a reputation for producing outstanding lightweight bags, its smoking accessories appeared less and less in catalogues, until they disappeared completely in 1979.

Philippe took full control of the business after his mother died in 1980, and with expansions into clothing and other accessories like scarves, he brought his wife Michèle on board, and years later, his children Sophie, Olivier, and Jean. They still run the company today: Sophie, as artistic director; Olivier, as US managing director; and Jean, as CEO. Like Goyard, Longchamp remains one of the few high-profile accessories brands that remains single-handedly owned and operated by one family.

“The difference in having a family-run business is that they think generation to generation, not quarter to quarter,” says Katherine Ormerod, editorial director of luxury shopping site Lyst. “That’s part of the authenticity of the brand.”

Philippe introduced the Le Pliage bag in 1993, inspired by origami he saw on a trip to Japan. Initially, the bag was met with little fanfare. According to Entrepreneur, it was backed by zero marketing dollars and sales stalled for the first three years. But the bag found its footing.

“Le Pliage” means “folding bag” in French, and its simple design hit a nerve. The International Herald Tribune called it “one of those have-to-have fashions” in 1998, and the Associated Press half-jokingly told Kate Spade to “move over.” By 2008, Jean Cassegrain confirmed to WWD that the brand was making 2.5 million bags a year, boasting that he didn’t “think any brand has any single design that sells that much.”

“It was French fashion journalists who started to carry it,” Jean told the IHT. “For them, it corresponded to a real need and soon they were writing about it.”

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Cheap Longchamp and Jeremy Scott team up for a tire-print Le Pliage Sale

Jeremy Scott, the print-crazy British designer of Flintstones-themed clothing fame, and Longchamp Outlet, the staid French luxury house famous for solid-color nylon totes, might seem like kind of an odd couple on the surface, but the Longchamp x Jeremy Scott Tire Print Le Pliage Tote just goes to prove the old clich̩ Рopposites attract.

I stared at this bag for a few seconds before it hit me that I was looking at tromp l’oeil tire tracks, which has Jeremy Scott written all over it. His prints are thoroughly modern and often unconventional, but I’ve never seen one that I found too weird or too displeasing to love. He does a great job of bringing pop art to the fashion world, and his designs are often surprisingly useable.

As for the Longchamp Bags portion of this design, I think we all know why the brand’s bags are popular. This one is waterproof for bad weather and its no-fuss lines perfectly display Scott’s large-scale pattern. The coupling of the two brands is counter-intuitive, but looking at the final product, it makes so much sense. Buy through Colette for $48.

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Longchamp’s Weekend Bags Outlet UK

Known for creating the iconic Le Pilage tote, Longchamp’s new bags for Spring/Summer are functional and chic. There’s a variety of styles to pick from, ranging from stylish rucksacks to chic bucket bags. Each styles comes in different colours and materials, like the bucket bag in tan and white and the designs manage to balance a fine line between style and practicality; appealing to both the young and old. The longchamp bag are designed to to carry all your daily essentials and great for the weekend.

  • 8 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: 2167 8899
  • Sogo, 555 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Tel: 2384 7760
  • Shop 1059, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. Tel: 2882 7233

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For Longchamp Outlet, the entire fashion collection starts with handbags

Longchamp Men’s Racing document holder. The Racing collection brings an energetic, timeless feel to men’s bags. With a slightly minimalist look, this collection of document holders breaks all the rules of a classic men’s collection.

LOS ANGELES — Longchamp Outlet, the traditional French luxury accessories and clothing brand famous for its nylon Le Pliage bags, touched down in Los Angeles recently to celebrate its decade-long relationship with the eccentric fashion designer Jeremy Scott.

Over the years, Longchamp has let Scott use Le Pliage as a canvas for a number of limited-edition designs inspired by his self-named ready-to-wear collections. The highly collectible bags have featured eye-popping graphics including brightly colored piles of pills, 1980s Madballs characters, Zodiac symbols and retro postcard images. A $370 “Greetings from Hollywood” design was released to coincide with the L.A. celebration and anniversary.

Founded by the late Jean Cassegrain in 1948, Longchamp is still a family business 60-plus years later, run by the second and third generations. I sat down with creative director Sophie Delafontaine and Chief Executive Jean Cassegrain (the founder’s grandchildren) while they were in town, to learn about the brand’s heritage, including the back story behind their father Philippe Cassegrain’s origami-like Pliage design, which debuted in 1993. Here are the takeaways.

Longchamp started with pipes, not bags — and even Elvis was a fan.

“A lot of young men were smoking pipes at the time, and a lot of Americans were coming through Paris after World War II. At some point, Elvis Presley must have been through Paris and purchased the pipe,” Cassegrain said. “The name of the store was not Longchamp at first. It was a tobacconist, selling cigarettes, cigars, lighters and stuff like that. My grandfather was successful supplying the GIs in Paris, but when they went home he was left with an excess. So to give his pipes an identity, he decided to cover them in leather and stamp them with the Longchamp Outlet name, after the racetrack in Bois de Boulogne, since another company was already using the name Cassegrain.” In the 1950s, the company expanded into leather goods, then luggage and eventually handbags and ready-to-wear.

More than 30 million Le Pliage bags have been sold worldwide, and it takes more than 100 steps to make each one.

A tote that folds flat, Le Pliage (French for “the folding”) comes in a range of sizes and fabrics including leather, nylon and canvas, all accented with a signature leather oval that snaps over the leather handles. On the brand’s website, you can customize your Pliage by choosing colors and monograms.

“Our father was the first person to have the idea to make luggage from nylon. And the first nylon he used was the nylon used by the French army for the floor of their tents. It was khaki-colored,” Cassegrain explains. “It’s not that unique to put crocodile or gold everywhere to make luxury,” he says. “Luxury is something (that is) well-suited to your need.”

Longchamp makes clothing to accessorize its Longchamp bags, not the other way around.

“I started with six or seven pieces — coats, jackets, very simple,” says Delafontaine. “Season after season, the collection has grown, and now we also have shoes. I always start by designing the handbag collection first, which is different from most brands. I like to use leather and play with it. I make jackets that look like cashmere sweaters but are in lambskin so soft and light, you can fold them in your luggage, for example.”

Longchamp may seem traditional, but the Jeremy Scott collaboration has been seamless, so much so that not one of his designs has ever been rejected.

“We call ourselves an optimistic luxury brand, and we like his optimistic point of view,” says Delafontaine. “He’s fun, pop and colorful, and he has a huge sense of humor — even about himself. His designs may be eccentric but it never becomes trash.”

Hermes is not the only luxury goods brand hand-making bags in France; Longchamp does it too.

Longchamp has six factories in France, mostly in the Loire Valley region. Half of what the company makes is done there, and half is done outside. “It’s difficult to automatize the making of handbags, so a lot of it is manual,” Cassegrain says. “Hermes is quite unique, insofar as the same person makes an entire bag. Even brands like Vuitton and Chanel don’t work like that. But the know-how of our workshops is impressive.”

“For the 20th anniversary of Le Pliage, we created the Pliage Heritage, a version of the bag in full leather,” Delafontaine says. “The opposite of foldable nylon, it is very structured. And I was pleased to work with our team on it to show all the qualities we have at our fingertips.”

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