Longchamp to make formal runway debut, in New York
Longchamp, the famous French leather goods and bag brand that recently brought Kendall Jenner on as its brand ambassador, will stage its first formal runway show during a major catwalk season in New York this fall, underlining the house’s goal of creating a fully-fledged fashion division.
The house will stage the spring-summer collection on September 8, at 3 p.m., at a yet-to-be-decided location in New York. In tandem, Longchamp will stage a separate event inside the Palais Garnier, Paris’ famed opera house, on September 11. All part of a series of ambitious moves to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Longchamp, which has also included a clothing and accessories collection created by New York avant-gardist Shayne Oliver this spring.
The decision marks the latest move by a noted European brand to cross the Atlantic to stage a NYC show – and follows German fashion house Escada which will also have a show in New York during the official season.
The news also comes just two months after Longchamp opened a 500-square-meter flagship on 5th Avenue, near St Patrick’s Cathedral, with its guest star Jenner, whose recent campaign, shot by David Sims, has been much admired.
Since the fall 2015, the house has shown a fashion collection in a presentation format to internal buyers, and subsequently to a few editors. None of these mini-presentations have been included on the official calendar of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body.
These clothes and the collection that Longchamp will present in New York are designed by Sophie Delafontaine, the house’s artistic director, and granddaughter of founder Jean Cassegrain. Her collections have so far concentrated on leather goods, with a natty contemporary sportwear twist – a broad style suitable for everyone from a St Germain gallery owner to a modern-day Yé Yé singer.
Longchamp plans to distribute this upcoming collection in some 40 boutiques in its chain of 300 stores worldwide, though the brand is sold in some 1,500 sales points worldwide.
Privately-held by the founding family, Longchamp does not release annual sales figures, though these are believed to be in excess of 600 million euros.
Jean and Renée Cassegrain owned a tobacconist business in central Paris in the 1930s before branching into making fine leather covers for pipes. And, the brand first began to gain traction internationally when American soldiers in Europe started buying these high-quality products. Launching Longchamp as a leather goods marque in 1948 and unveiling its first woven handbag in 1971.
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