Longchamp, including its extremely popular Le Pliage bag, has long symbolized timeless style. Here are things you didn't know about the French luxury leather goods company.
1. The brand was originally known for its leather-covered pipes.
Longchamp began as a tobacco store named Au Sultan. When the brand was handed down to Jean Cassegrain in 1948 by his father, he decided to rebrand and restructure it by producing the world's first luxury leather-covered pipes. Soon, he expanded to small leather goods such as wallets and passport covers, and eventually handbags and luggage.
2. The Longchamp name is derived from a racetrack in the Bois de Boulogne.
Specifically, Bois de Boulogne's Hippodrome de Longchamp race course in Paris. The name was chosen because the Cassegrain name was already in use by another company.
3. The brand is still owned by the founding family, the Cassegrains.
Longchamp is one of the few luxury goods companies that remains in the ownership of the founding family. The French luxury label's current CEO Jean Cassegrain is the grandson of the founder.
4. The brand is estimated to be worth around $1.5 billion.
According to Forbes, Longchamp's sales have exploded in recent years as the company capitalizes on a surging affordable luxury fashion market. 2012 sales raked in 454 million euros, up 16% from the year before, and nearly 75% from 2009.
5. The Le Pliage was introduced in 1993.
The Le Pliage's design was heavily inspired by origami, and was designed by Philippe Cassegrain and Isabelle Guyon to be lightweight and foldable, as such the handbag's name translates to "the folding" in French.
6. The Le Pliage was thrust into the spotlight in the early 2000s.
Thanks, in part, to its many famous fans. The likes of Alexa Chung, Kate Moss, and even Duchess Kate Middleton have been spotted with the classic Le Pliage.
7. Over 32 million Le Pliage's have been sold since its release.
According to Racked, about 10 Le Pliages are sold every minute and over 2.5 million are made per year. It's been reported that Longchamp has sold over 32 million Le Pliages since its debut 25 years ago.
8. A leather version of the Le Pliage was introduced in 2012.
As a leather goods company, Longchamp decided to release the classic Le Pliage in leather. This, however, took several years as the brand wanted to find a leather as pliable as nylon, according to François-Xavier Severin, Longchamp's general manager for Asia Pacific. After a few trials, they finally found métis leather and released the Le Pliage Cuir.
9. The brand regularly collaborates with the fashion industry's biggest names.
Longchamp has collaborated with several fashion designers including Jeremy Scott and Mary Katrantzou, as well as artist Sarah Morris. Thanks to its many collaborations, the Le Pliage has been done in a total of 150 colors and prints.
10. Longchamp has 1800 stores in over 100 countries.
The brand is available in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, and Austria to name a few.
In the Philippines, Longchamp is available at Rustan's Makati, Rustan's Shangri-La, Rustan's Cebu, and Greenbelt 5.
IMAGE Stores Specialists Inc.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountry.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.