Posted on 4th Feb 2016 @ 8:21 PM
The French Longchamp brand is valued at $1.5 billion by Forbes, due in large part to the Le Pliage. While its business is big, it's considerably smaller than that of its publicly-traded competitors Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Coach. Still, Longchamp is able to hold its own against these accessory giants — and its story begins with pipes.
So in 1971, Longchamp debuted its first women's bag, just one year before the first Jean Cassegrain passed away and his wife and son Philippe took over the family business. The "LM line," which was first sold in Japan, was made of calfskin leather and featured horses silkscreened over a crisscross pattern (an edition of this original bag was reissued a few years ago to celebrate the brand's 60th anniversary). The bags were an instant success and helped the brand spread rapidly across Asia. As Longchamp began to gain a reputation for producing outstanding lightweight bags, its smoking accessories appeared less and less in catalogues, until they disappeared completely in 1979.