Stylish Sophie Delafontaine, the creative director of Longchamp (which was started as a tobacco shop in Paris by her grandfather in 1948), jetted to New York for a whirlwind 48 hours of fashion. Sophie sat down with moi for one of those hours. Longchamp is everywhere right this second: unveiling a very cool collaboration with artist Sarah Morris, a book with Assouline, and celebrating two decades of their iconic Le Pliage bag. Mon Dieu, le chicness!
Tell me about the first Le Pliage bag you designed.
It was totally transparent. When I had the idea, I showed the prototype to my father and he said, ‘Don’t be stupid, no one is going to carry a bag around where we all see through what is going on inside, with your tissues in your purse. It will get stolen; it’s not possible.’ So he said, ‘If you are able to carry it more than one week, we will put it in collection.’ So I wore it, and then we made it in different materials, more fancy fabrics.
The Sarah Morris collaboration looks great. I want to hang the bags on my wall.
I discovered her work maybe seven or eight years ago and I was impressed by the way she is working with colors: They are very strong, very graphic, very precise. When we wanted to celebrate the 20th anniversary, we immediately sought her out because to make a strong collaboration, it needs to have a strong link between the artist and the brand. Every detail is really precise; we thought it would fit very well with Le Pliage.
The bags you’ve done with Jeremy Scott go for a fortune on eBay. I always get to his show early so no one steals my bag.
Jeremy Scott and Longchamp are totally different, but we both have really strong point of view. Like Jeremy, his humor is very strong, but is never vulgar and never cheap. At Longchamp, we like to have a fanciness and a touch of humor, even in our ad campaigns. Our models never look cold. We like to have a touch of freshness, which you can find also in Jeremy’s work. I love Jeremy and I’m happy to collaborate with him.
You design the Longchamp ready-to-wear capsule collection, which is super sleek and super chic.
We have a lot of leather pieces–a leather coat, a jacket, skirt, pants. I like to play with silk blouses or dresses that are really key pieces in feminine silhouettes, because they’re really easy to mix and match. You can wear them with a skirt and high heel to be very elegant, or you can wear them with jeans and boots for a much more sporty look.
You must have a killer collection of bags. What’s your favorite Longchamp piece to carry?
Every season, I want the next one that will be available in a year, so it’s very difficult. I always want the new one! But I do have some few bags I really like. More than the shape itself, it’s about the leather. The more you wear them, the nicer they become, because they get that patina. I wear the Legende, which is like a doctor bag, a lot. The leather is just gorgeous and shiny. I also have Roseau Heritage styles with beautiful calfskin. They’re very natural and with time they become very nice.