NEW YORK — Longchamp is returning to its masculine roots. The Paris-based leather manufacturer, which got its start in 1948 making men’s leather pipe coverings, this winter will launch its first complete men’s collection in more than 20 years. The French firm is also set to unveil a special unisex line of bags—created in collaboration with a well-known French artist—before the end of the year, which will help promote Longchamp’s men’s products.
“Men are now buying bags as fashion accessories. They look in the mirror when they are buying a bag,” explained Jean Cassegrain, the managing director of Longchamp Group. “There’s definitely a renewed interest in men’s bags.”
The 10-piece spring 2008 men’s collection, scheduled to hit stores in December, is causal “but not too casual” according to Cassegrain, and was designed to meet the needs of a contemporary, urban lifestyle. Highlights include a black, vegetable-tanned leather bag with aged, nickel accessories from the label’s Dayz line, as well as the nylon canvas Maxi bag, which Longchamp is positioning as the next must-have accessory. Retail price points for the men’s collection range from $40 for a laptop case to $1,298 for a travel bag.
The move towards men’s marks a larger overall effort by the company to reposition the Longchamp brand—sometimes viewed as conservative—as a relevant fashion label. Longchamp, which has distribution in more than 100 countries and nearly $300 million in annual sales, signed Kate Moss to star in its spring/summer 2006 ad campaign for women’s handbags, a venture that caused the showcased styles to sell out within weeks. In May of that same year, the French company staked its claim on the retail map, opening a flagship store in downtown Manhattan at 123 Spring Street.
“Fashion has become a key driver in this market and we’ve kept up-to-date, but I don’t think we did as good a job of communicating that to the public,” said Cassegrain. “Kate Moss has helped to change the face of the brand and increase visibility, and the Soho store has also helped bring attention to the brand.”
With men’s bags becoming an increasingly important category, Cassegrain said the company will focus on “working up” the men’s category in terms of product and expanded assortment before the brand goes after Kate Moss-esque advertising. “We want to move out of traditional leather goods and into more fashionable silhouettes,” explained Cassegrain. He sees the most potential in men’s totes because of their lightweight sensibility and modern aesthetic.
The men’s collection, which makes up 15 percent of Longchamp’s overall business, will be carried in the company’s 100 freestanding stores as well as some of its 2,000 retail outposts.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)