An Icon Returns: Longchamp Reinvents Their Beloved Roseau Bag

by Freya Drohan

Longchamp is showing its Fall 2020 collection on Saturday, and in chic intel you can use even sooner, the label has reinvented its Roseau handbags for Summer ’20.

While it’s impossible to walk a few blocks in NYC without spotting one of the French brand’s nylon Le Pliage totes, the Roseau is poised to be the brand’s new-again arm candy of the season.

The Roseau first appeared in the 1990s and quickly became a staple for the maison, thanks to its distinctive bamboo-style toggle and streamlined, sporty finish. Sophie Delafontaine, Longchamp’s artistic director, explains how the reinterpreted design—which counts Kendall Jenner and actresses Bailee Madison and Mary Elizabeth Winstead among its fans—has been tweaked for 2020, whether toted around the city of light or the city that never sleeps.

The distinctive closure, inspired by a duffle coat, is now a larger, more prominent feature. The top handle bag is available in four sizes and in both cowhide and luxe lambskin leather versions. For Delafontaine, whose grandfather Jean Cassegrain founded the company in 1948, the time felt right to bring the sophisticated and stylish bag back to the fore. As she puts it, “Understated elegance is part of our DNA; Longchamp bags are simple and timeless.”

Longchamp Roseau bag (Courtesy)

Why did Longchamp decide to reinterpret the Roseau?
The Roseau has been a part of the iconic lines of La Maison Longchamp for the past 25 years. We have always reinterpreted it so it stays well within its time. This year, I wanted to rework its design, shape, and details.

What are the major differences in design between the original and the reinterpreted version?
The main changes are the shapes and proportions, including the handles, which were also redesigned, and the bamboo hardware, which was modernized and redesigned in a bigger size. It’s more modern, but without neglecting the heritage of the iconic Roseau.

What was the original inspiration for this bag in the 1990s?
Back in the ’90s, it was innovative and original to introduce this handbag as an open tote bag where you could easily find what you were looking for.

How do you imagine life has changed for the person who carried this bag in the 1990s versus today’s customer?
The bag proportions have really changed according to the needs of women. Today, bags are mini-bags, where you just carry an iPhone and your credit card, or a much bigger bag where you can carry your laptop.

How does the bag’s design fit into the overall ethos of Maison Longchamp?
The bag’s design fits well into the heritage of the brand with its understated design and strong personality.

Longchamp Spring/Summer 2020 (Courtesy)

What’s always in your own bag?
In my bag, like all women, I have my phone, a lot of pens, my credit card, and also my passport as I’m always on the move…and of course, some makeup for last-minute touch-ups before going to dinner.

How would you style this bag for an outfit in both New York and Paris?
In New York, definitely [with] a pair of jeans, sneakers, a silk blouse, and a leather jacket. In Paris, boots, a coat, and a cashmere sweater in a casual chic spirit.

What can people expect from Longchamp in 2020 and beyond?
A brand that is eternally reinventing itself to always appeal to current and future generations.

Describe the ideal Longchamp muse for 2020.
The ideal Longchamp muse is a powerful, well-traveled, international woman always on the move. I’m inspired by all women.

What can we expect from Longchamp’s upcoming NYFW show?
As with previous seasons, the Parisian spirit will be key in the show—an elegant Parisian woman confidently walking in New York during the wintertime.

Pick up your copy of The Daily Front Row at all the major shows or check out Burgas’ shoot with model Winnie Harlow below.

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