One of the world’s most iconic bags, the Longchamp Le Pliage turns 20 this year but the design is far from the forgotten.
Here in Malaysia, it continues to be eyed by many for its practicality as much as its timelessness, its popularity solidified by a 1,500 square feet boutique space in Pavilion KL. It has been injected with new faces and identities over the years by clever and quirky collaborations with various designers and artists, but has always remains true to its original roots and function.
One thing's for sure, the Longchamp Le Pliage is one bag that is here to stay.
In conjunction with its 20th anniversary, we compiled 20 facts about one of the world’s favourite bags that you probably didn’t know about.
1. Its name – Le Pliage -- is derived from the French word for ‘fold’. Literally Le Pliage translates to mean ‘the folding’.
2. It is inspired by the Japanese art of ‘origami’, focused on the main elements of weightlessness and functionality, as can be seen with the body of the tote which can be folded so it can be stored flat.
3. The founders of the Longchamp brand, Jean Cassegrain, was a tobacco-shop owner who founded the brand to broaden the distribution of his leather-covered items for smokers.
4. The name Longchamp is that of the racetrack in the Bois de Boulogne and was chosen because the name Cassegrain was already in use by another company.
5. The first Le Pliage is a luggage bag designed by 2nd generation Philippe Cassegrain, son of Jean, who crafted it in khaki nylon, which he trimmed with pigskin leather so as to embellish it without extra weight.
6. The first Le Pliage collection took to the streets on a morning in 1993. It was an instant hit with how it folds and unfolds in a flash.
7. The Le Pliage is designed for both men and women with its unisex design that often features a canvas body, a flap with a press stud and two handles.
8. Jeremy Scott is one of the longest collaborators with the brand, having proposed special editions of the Pliage bags since 2006. His latest collaboration called 'Zodiac' will be unveiled in 2015 which will see the bags get covered in colourfully scribbled versions of the Western astrological symbols for fire, earth, water and air.
9. In 2012, the world saw the first all-leather version of the Pliage bags.
10. Kate Moss has been the brand’s icon since 2006. Incidentally, she launched her own career as a bag designer in 2010 with the first Kate Moss for Longchamp collection.
11. Longchamp has branched out into clothing and shoes for women since 2006.
12. To celebrate its 60th birthday in 2008, Longchamp reissued its LM collection originally only available in Asia. It also offered a version illustrated by Jean-Luc Moerman.
13. Each season sees an addition of dozens of new colour in equally diverse combinations to the Pliage line of bags.
14. It has been produced in innovative materials, adorned with transparent pockets, and crafted in offbeat prints among others.
15. The Le Pliage Cuir Personalized allows you to customise your own Pliage in just a few clicks. Everything can be customised from the size and the main colour to the bags details like the lining and perforated or embossed initials that makes each bag uniquely you.
16. For its 20th anniversary, the Le Pliage will see a new line added called the Le Pliage Héritage line that features subtle tweaks to the classic design like slightly curved trompe-I’oeil flap and handles.
17. It features a highly practical design which allows carriers to wear it over their shoulders, on their arms across their bodies or in their hands.
18. Longchamp continues to be run today by the 2nd and 3rd generations of its founding family.
19. It is distributed in over 100 countries in approximately 1,800 stores.
20. France accounts for one-third of Longchamp's annual sales.