From Pipe accessories for Elvis Presley to witty handbags with Kendall Jenner as a muse, Longchamp has a long and eventful history. Created in 1948 by Jean Cassegrain in Paris.
Son of a tobacco business owner, Jean was first making smoking accessories for the Allied Troops – and that’s when Elvis came to know and love the brand.
In 1971, Jean’s son took the head of the company and starting a line of leather goods including handbags : as the popularity of travels and easy-to-carry bags was thriving, so was Longchamp thanks to Philippe Cassegrain great idea.
Longchamp’s modern days… and great successes
Nowadays, Sophie Delafontaine – Jean’s great-grand daughter – is the witty artistic director who notably helped her father create the oh-so famous Le Pliage bag, the brand’s all-time best-seller since its launch in 1993.
Directing all items produced by Longchamp, she is the one who took the French maison out of the early 2000s slumber to bring it back to fame with muses like Kate Moss (herself at the heart of a huge slumber at this time…).
The last collections were presented in a campaign starring Kendall Jenner as the face of 2018’s Longchamp. How forward is it, to be more than 50 year old and still resonate as much with today’s style and icons?…
And how relevant, practical yet so fine looking are Longchamp’s creations? Well let’s find out : here are their top 10 women handbags, let’s go !
Longchamp Le Pliage 👜: the best-seller of the best-sellers
Ever since its creation in 1993 by Philippe Cassegrain, the Pliage bag has been a major and worldwide best-seller for Longchamp. Clever and light, the Pliage (meaning “foldind”, in French) is a bag made to be fold when empty so that it can be thrown in any luggage and unfold when you reach your destination!
Made in various sizes, it goes from a little handbag to a large luggage… that won’t take any space in your closet while at home.
In 1993, Philippe Cassegrain launched it as a test : a foldable nylon bag with leather handles and clasp, no one had previously seen that. As fashion goes, a little practicality and a lot of style often make the best recipe.
Longchamp went further with a style never seen before – originally you could pick amongst 8 colours – and a so very clever system that you couldn’t resist : this item was too useful and sexy to be left out in stores’ alleys !
The Pliage was a best seller but, in the beginning of the 21st century, its fame vanished a little – it was a classic piece but the younger generations wouldn’t really go for the Pliage when reaching the age of purchasing a handbag.
It is Kate Moss and Alexa Chung, chosen muses, who helped the brand and the Pliage go back to being a it-trend and a… it-bag !
Vidéo Le Pliage Longchamp Handbag
Longchamp The Balzane 👜 : vintage elegance bag
The Balzane handbag’s design has something of a horse saddle – major 2000s best-seller, it was designed by Nathalie Delafontaine with the heritage of Longchamp’s name in mind.
Indeed the French brand takes its name from a well-known racecourse near Paris (and you might have noticed the maison’s logo is a jockey on his horse!).
The Balzane has a main pocket above which a fold with another pocket on it shaped roughly like a saddle sets. Classic yet funny, elegant yet bohemian, this handbag was designed for women with style, 25 hours long days and as much work as fun scheduled in a day. Fit to any outfit – preferably a little rock’n’roll ! – it is a day to day useful and pretty companion.
Though the Balzane was a major hit, Longchamp stopped producing it recently. Then, to get your hand on one of the Balzane still on the market, you must turn to trustworthy vintage reseller… and if it is online, always make sure you can return your bag if you realise it’s torn or fake !
Vidéo Presentation Balzane Bag
Mademoiselle Longchamp Rock 👜: (cool) ladies first !
Mademoiselle Longchamp is an ode to the French woman as the brand sees her : free-spirited, travelling, without complex. The tiny size of the Mademoiselle is made for women who don’t like anything hindering their way, ready to conquer the world!
Mademoiselle has a signature clasp and a leather hand or shoulder handles which differentiate it from the rest of the Mademoiselle collection : more graphic, with silver nails all over the body of the handbag, this piece does not aim at being classic or invisible but rather fits the exuberant personality of the women carrying it.
Definitely born from the more rock’n’roll DNA Nathalie Delafontaine brought to her family’s maison with muses like Moss and Alexa Chung, Mademoiselle Rock is a collector piece embodying Longchamp’s spirit of modernity and wittiness.
Presentation Mademoiselle Handbag
Longchamp X Nendo Pliage 👜 : a new design and a way back to the origins
As long as it-bags go, Longchamp sure did make a name for itself. And it became with Le Pliage, inspired by traditional Japanese origami… and the Nendo collaboration sure accentuates these oriental origins.
Nendo is a Tokyo-based design studio who gave a new practical and stylish aspect to the classical Le Pliage : a very cute cone shape and a single small handle, for a bag to be carried in the nook of your arm… and put away basically on any door-handle, hook, rail – imagine all you can!
The nylon cone has its classic leather clasp, and the nylon part of the bag is to be folded in the leather cone it forms. Its tiny size, original shape and practicality make it one of the most clever handbags now.
You can use it for any daily errands, make it the masterpiece of your evening outfit whether you are going to a club or at your step-parents’… and that versatility and uniqueness has something of an extraordinary best-seller to be…
Vidéo Longchamp X Nendo Pliage
Longchamp Foulonné 👜 : a line of leather crafting excellency
Born in 1975, the Foulonné collection takes its name from a kind of veal leather. This very fine leather has a grain aspect that is known for its elegance, sensuality and vintage style.
Nowadays, the Foulonné line has a variety of pieces… and my crush goes to the Foulonné pouch.
The very classic shape of the Foulonné pouch is an ode to Longchamp leather savoir-faire and excellency : the quality of the making is itself the masterpiece.
The metallic adjustable chain is the modern detail adding a touch of iconoclastic elegance and makes the pouch a piece of jewellery rather than a mere handbag : it will be a key piece to your outfit.
A main pocket, a simple silver snap fastener and everything is already set to make a really cool, classic yet not boring handbag to take you anywhere at any time of the day !
Longchamp Amazone 👜: fierce and elegant like you
The Amazone has something of a resolute modern creation as well as a wonderful tribute to all of Longchamp’s savoir-faire, aesthetics and craftsmanship.
First, a wink to the equestrian world with a stirrup shaped metal clasp. Then, a graphic quilting of the leather, proof of a very contemporary design stitched by gifted craftsmen and women.
But the Amazone is not just an execution and design masterpiece ; it is almost as if it has a soul. The Amazone are legendary fierce women, with a sharp mind, style and life.
Well, the Amazone by Longchamp sure has nothing less than its muses in terms of fierceness and style. Black leather, metallic details like the clasp and the adjustable chain (you can wear it at your shoulder or carry it in your hand!) make the singularity and unapologising elegance of the handbag.
Be sure to wear it at your most important business meetings and at your ex’s wedding for this is a queen bag !
Longchamp Amazone Bag Review
Longchamp Cavalcade wild 👜 : for women running up and about !
Longchamp’s Cavalcade bag bring back the brand to its racecourse roots : its look resembles that of a very elegant and simple saddlebag, in fine leather and crafted with decades-old savoir-faire.
The Cavalcade is a modern-lady’s bag – as classy and discreet as can be, it is a must for women with a low style but high-standard eye.
Topstitches and metal rivets give a touch of colour and modernity to the Cavalcade and the clasp, thought of as a jewel and very ingenious, is the centre-piece of the handbag.
Available in different matching colours, Cavalcade will suit any classy and classic modern woman. Both urban and country spirited, it will single you out in any crowd.
My preference goes to the coral and black – it just resonates even better with the spirit of the handbag, a classic yet unmissable piece from Longchamp’s workshops !
Longchamp Gatsby 👜 : a vintage idole bag
In the mid-2000s, the culture of it-bags was thriving : to each brand to create and manage to make a best-seller their precious leather creations.
At that time, Longchamp was rebranding with the partnership with Kate Moss and giving the brand a more modern style. The Gatsby, a bag now left out by Longchamp you can still find in vintage stores, was then the it of the moment.
The 2000s also were marked by a very famous TV show in which – let’s not fool ourselves – fashion was probably the main character : yes, I’m talking about Gossip Girl. And what Longchamp bag did Serena and Blair fell in love for? The Gatsby !
Ingenious, with many pocket and a signature square metal clasp, the Gatsby made more than a woman lose her mind… and rush to Longchamp stores.
Vintage and so-very modern at once, the Gatsby is an urban modern girl’s handbag ready to take you anywhere… unlike Blair and Serena’s Manolo Blahnik, but that’s another story !
Vidéo Review Longchamp Gatsby
Longchamp Roseau Classique 👜 : luxury meets shopping bag
Thanks to the Parisienne cliché, a notion of free-spirit and carelessness always were glamourised by fashion magazines and imagery.
Classic is cool with a bohemian vibe, and rocknroll goes fine sat with elegance. Well, the Roseau Classique is the bag designed to make any woman happy thanks to its effortless chicness and oh-so charming simplicity.
A rectangular shape, fine leater, two handles and a single clasp inspired by a duffle coat button : here is the recipe for this discreet yet outstanding Longchamp’s creation.
Made to fit any lifestyle and outfit, the Roseau handbag is as precious as it is easy to carry and fill up for your whole life to be with you at any moment of the day.
Versatile and adaptable, the Roseau mixes simplicity and sophistication to be your ideal daily companion, wether in heels, sneakers or – well, nobody’s perfect – ballet flat.
Unboxing Lonchamp Roseau Bag
Longchamp 3D 👜 : modernity, elegance and symmetry
Technical, graphic, modern and yet winking at a vintage elegance : the Longchamp 3D besace – “knapsack”, in English – has everything it takes to be a it-bag.
Versatile, with lots of space, the Longchamp 3D is, like many of the brand’s bag, designed for busy and modern women.
Almost in a bucket shape with just a big shoulder handle, it is definitely an urban and style companion.
Its design is shaped so that the bag will always adapt to your body thanks to its supple leather. The signature ‘Longchamps’ – a piece of leather engraved with the brand’s name, sewed to the core of the bag with two leather ribbons – is crafted in 3D and gives its style and uniqueness.
Wether going to the beach, a work meeting or an impromptu date, the Longchamp 3D handbag will be there to take you anywhere you need to go, with everything you need and always, always, with style !
Presentation Longchamp 3D Bag
Longchamp, modernity meets expertise and cleverness
Longchamp is a house of intelligent luxur : buying a Longchamp handbag is an investment in a useful piece that will take you anywhere with style.
The french tobacco items seller became a major leather making genius and always stood out for its creativity – just think of Le Pliage again ! – and sense of fashion and elegance.
Nowadays, the house has many historical collections style produced and the quality of designs and leathers also make Longchamp a go-to brand when shopping vintage handbags.