Following a long list of luxury brands to enter the country, Longchamp made its way into the capital last month. Brought to India by Radha Kapoor, the founder and CEO of DOIT Retail Brands, the French leather bag label was started by Jean Cassegrain, who in 1948 created the world’s first set of leather-covered pipes. This later extended to small leather goods and eventually, travel bags and women’s handbags. But it wasn’t until 1987, when the iconic Le Pliage came into the picture that the brand’s popularity really took flight, and is today favoured by everyone from film stars to socialites to even royalty.
“We as a brand are always looking to bring in names from the premium to luxury space. And Longchamp, we felt, has such a wide appeal, right from teenagers to those above 50. We met the representatives of the brand at a luxury exhibition in Paris, and then they flew down to India. We instantly hit it off,” says Kapoor, when asked about how it all came together. Highlighting some of the travel and work essentials on offer, Kapoor shares that the Roseau Heritage reversible collection and Penelope bags are two other iconic lines that are available in India. “Each collection has its own identity and its own story. That’s what is so appealing about Longchamp,” Kapoor explains. Of the heavy duty luggage bags, she picks the Fairval and Boxford. While the former is a hardshell number with pleated detailing, the latter has a smooth glossy finish with a two-toned colour scheme. Men can choose from the sturdy Boxfords, vintage style Cavaliers or the men’s version of the Le Pliage.
Talking about creative director Sophie Delafontaine’s love for art and how it is reflected in the bags, Kapoor says, “There’s no doubt that her love for art trickles down into the designs. They have a number of bags with graphic details, such as the Le Pliage Heritage Luxe, and Le Pliage Néo Fantaisie and they’re currently working on bringing out a collection with American designer, Jeremy Scott.”
The collection the store currently stocks is their Autumn Winter 2016 line, Urban Nature. “It’s all about bringing nature back to the city,” explains Kapoor. One of the main features of the line is an artistic chevron pattern, in colours ranging from moss green to rust, dull orange and teal blue.
Rs 8,000 upwards. At DLF Emporio, New Delhi. Details: 46561441
It was late last year that the iconic Le Pliage (priced at around `6,000 upwards) started making news for being repeatedly spotted on Kate Middleton. Easily recognisable by its distinct nylon body with leather trimmings and handle, the bag is considered to be in the same league as Hermes’ Birkin and Fendi’s Baguette, though much lighter on the pocket. But the Duchess is not the only one with a weakness for the foldable bag, which is the brand’s most recognisable product. Supermodel Alexa Chung, Katie Holmes and January Jones are also fans of the tote that comes in various shades from camel to khaki to grey. Says Radha Kapoor, “It’s easy to use, convenient, waterproof and roomy, depending on the size you choose, so it’s no surprise that it is so popular and there’s no doubt
it will do well in India.”
— Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo