By  on October 27, 2010

Long synonymous with the French countryside, Longchamp is venturing to the coast for spring in a new collaboration with Eres swimwear.

Longchamp will include a festive floral print bikini by Eres as part of its ready-to-wear collection, and use the print on handbags. Eres will feature a beach bag by Longchamp (called “rivage” or “shore”) in navy and black, white and off-white. The Eres bag is modeled after Longchamp’s best-selling Le Pliage design.

The floral print, offered in pink and white or yellow and white, was inspired by Indian spirituality because it “calls to mind the flower necklaces offered to the gods, according to Indian custom,” said Sophie Delafontaine, Longchamp’s creative director. The brands came together at a meeting of Comité Colbert, the French association of 75 luxury brands. They are both members.

“Eres was looking for a beach bag, and we discussed what we could do together,” Delafontaine said. “At the same time, we were working on our summer collection, and we asked them if they would do a swimsuit for us.”

Both labels plan to simultaneously display the results of the collaboration in their respective stores, but will not be exhibiting each other’s products. All the items will be available for sale in February. Longchamp’s swimsuit will retail for $382 and the Eres beach bag will be priced at $230.

This partnership is one of a long line of Longchamp collaborations, which have varied from designer Charles Anastase to artist Jean-Luc Moerman.

“For me, it’s very interesting — each time it’s a way for me to go through another mind,” Delafontaine explained. “Working with an artist like Tracey Emin or a designer like Jeremy Scott, or Kate Moss…each time [we work] to understand what we have in mind and try to mix know-how with the spirit of the brand.…When I work with an artist it’s important to understand every detail…to go further. It’s nice because…it adds freshness to our own collection.”

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