Like many teenage girls, Lana Condor wore Longchamp’s Le Pliage bag in high school — “down to destruction,” she said with a laugh.
“I was so devoted to that bag,” she continued. “I wore it forever and ever and ever. To the point where the lining on the inside was like, ‘Give it up!’”
It was also her riding bag.
“I had a horse named Karrot, but with a K for karat gold — because, fashion,” she giggled. She started horseback riding at 6. “I also had a horse named Joe,” she later revealed. “But Joe was the worst. Joe was a bully. We don’t talk about Joe.”
The 25-year-old actress, who rose to fame as Lara Jean Covey in the Netflix rom-com film series “To All the Boys” — after making her debut in “X-Men: Apocalypse” — was the night’s special guest at a dinner hosted by the French house in Los Angeles on Thursday night. “Rendez-Vous Au Sommet” was the theme, inspired by the snowy Alps.
The evening was held to celebrate Longchamp’s newest bag: Box-Trot. A boxy shape coming in various shades and two sizes, it features a medallion in gold-tone metal on the folding snap — the signature horse and rider logo.
“I exercised some Lana go-against-your-impulse,” she said about picking out the style, choosing the mini in green. “I’m a big bag girl forever. I’m someone who wants to know I have all my things in the bag, period. And I don’t have mini bags mainly because I’m like, ‘Well I can’t fit my books in there. I can’t fit my iPad. I can’t fit my massive charger.’ But I said, ‘Lana this mini is so cute.’ And alarmingly, you can fit so much in it. I have a camera — “
“Guys, would you like a madeleine?” a waiter interrupted, presenting his silver platter. The butter cakes, too, were mini.
“No, I’m OK, thank you,” Condor responded, before turning back. “That looks like a pizza pocket,” she said. “If it was a pizza pocket, I would take it.”
She went on, holding the purse, “If you’re looking for a mini bag, but you’re also a big bag girl, this is it. I am shocked. I have a camera, my car holder, a charger, hand sanitizer, my keys. And I think I could put my phone in if I wanted. So, it’s kind of a perfect size if you’re trying to be cute and mini but also practical.”
Condor wore Longchamp head to toe, including a black leather jacket with a white sweater, trousers and boots.
“This jacket, my fiancé tried on as well, so we’re going to be sharing it,” she said of actor Anthony De La Torre. Engaged this year, the two live in Seattle, Washington. “It’s great, but I’m like, it’s mine.”
She gave a cheeky smile before playfully shouting, “Mine!”
Asked about her recent work, she said she wrapped “Valiant One” with Chase Stokes, directed by Steve Barnett. The film is set in North Korea. “It’s no ‘To All the Boys,’ let me tell you. It’s no rom-com.”
The experience was physically demanding, she said. “It was probably the most empowering thing I’ve ever done.”
She’s been choosing projects “that spark joy,” she added. “And same with brands. I’m at this point in my life where I only want to work with people who share the same values as I do and make me feel happy. It’s one of the reasons I’m here tonight. I feel very honored.”
Held in a private residence in the Hollywood Hills, the dinner — prepared by Parisian chef Yann Nury — brought out a slew of young women, actresses Alyah Chanelle Scott, Larsen Thompson, Hannah Zeile and content creators Amanda Steele, Anna Sitar, Emma Brooks, Ellie Zeiler. All accessorized with the Box-Trot.
“Most of our relationships are very organic,” Paul Lorraine, chief executive officer and president of Longchamp North America, said. He cohosted the event with the brand’s managing director Olivier Miller-Cassegrain, great-grandson of Longchamp founder Jean Cassegrain. (It was in 1948 that the entrepreneur launched the company, named after the Paris racecourse, as producer of tobacco pipe coverings before creating leather goods.)
“We don’t really go out chasing or targeting people,” Lorraine said. “It’s the magic of Longchamp. They’ve been doing it for so long. And the relationships, the partnerships are longstanding. You can see tonight, it’s genuine appreciation…Our challenge on a media perspective is that we’ve been very humble. We don’t shout about the brand, because it’s not our nature. We let our products speak for itself.”
The company is looking to expand in the region, he said: “We’ve got a big business on the East Coast, and we want more on the West Coast. It’s always been an area that we’ve had great support, great engagement, and we just want to do more here.”
What’s in the works for next year?
“We’re growing more of our concession businesses,” Lorraine said. “That’s going to be a big role for us. Our product assortment is expanding on the families, editing our selection down but adding more color. We had a fantastic `22. We had a really good `21. `23, I’m mentally in Q3 already. It’s looking exciting for us. We’ve got great momentum.”