Longchamp runway debuts high in the sky in New York
Got to hand it to the French, they really know how to launch and build brands with precision and polish. Two accurate words to describe an excellent runway debut for this storied Parisian brand, staged Saturday afternoon with tremendous assurance 700 feet up in the sky at 3 World Trade Center, to celebrate the 70th anniversary year of the brand.
Polish and precise even if the clothes addressed self-assured rebellion and independent women with jaunty Indie chic, which the French often call Haute BoBo, meaning high-end bourgeois bohemian.
On the runway Kaia Gerber climaxed the show, while front row featured Kate Moss and Kendall Jenner, who stars in the house’s latest David Sim-shot ad campaign, looking rather divine as she wanders about the Louvre.
The cast marched on the 68th floor of a raw space inside this brand new skyscraper. Strolling before incredible views of the Freedom Tower; the Statue of Liberty; New York Bay and the Brooklyn Bridge.
“Longchamp is not a niche brand, so I wanted to address a large audience. I was thinking of proud independent women, self-assured with their own unique sense of style. Tastemakers like Anita Pallenberg and Veruschka,” explained Creative Director Sophie Delafontaine, the granddaughter of the house’s founder Jean Cassegrain.
The result was a very fine, if broad, collection, ranging from airy animal-print dresses and matching boots; soft macramé dresses cut with lots of volume and worn with fringed suede gladiator sandals; saucy leather bikinis; layered semi-sheer caftans and taut Wonder Woman suede singlets.
All paired with a great selection of new Longchamp bags; like the Amazone, finished with Hippie chic stones and high-color faux snakeskin straps. Overall, a sense of very stylish urban warriors; though also plenty of clothes to wear to a jumping party in a hot beachside summer club.
“Amazing, I can’t wait to get at least half the collection!” enthused a very blonde Moss backstage post show.
Delafontaine was also smart enough to hire a top-notch backstage team. Veteran producer Alexandre de Betak, known for his sterling work with Christian Dior, organized a crisp setting of beige carpeting and glass walls; and noted French stylist Marie-Amélie Sauvé added a soupçon of gutsy chic. While ace DJ Michel Gaubert kept the mood suitably dramatic with music from the Greco-French composer Alexandre Desplat, an Oscar winner for his soundtracks for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Shape of Water. Plus there was a hyper-mixed casting, suitable in the melting pot city of North America.
“We had to have a very varied cast, as we are a democratic brand that appeals to a very wide audience. This show is an important step for Longchamp and I can think of no better pace to take that step than here, looking down on all the energy and magnificence of New York,” smiled Delafontaine, before turning to greet Isabelle Huppert.
In a busy year, Longchamp also opened a 500-square-meter flagship on 5thAvenue, near St Patrick’s Cathedral. And, on September 11, Longchamp will fête its anniversary with a major bash inside the Palais Garnier, Paris’ famed opera house
Like we said, few people do brand building as well as the French.
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