On September 11th, at the edge of the Grands Boulevards, the birthplace of the House, Longchamp chose to celebrate 70 years of creativity and freedom in the Palais Garnier.
“Since 1948, our grandparents and parents have passed on to us the passion for creation and the desire to always be unique and unexpected. At Longchamp, our eagerness drives us to take risks and to be unique in the way we diffuse our French lifestyle, at once confident, impertinent, and light-hearted. As a family business, our true luxury lies in our independence and authenticity.”
On the steps of the Opera House, laid down with a majestic green carpet, a line of pageboys in tuxedos wearing a phantasmagorical horse-head mask reminiscent of the House’s famous logo, welcomed the guests who were both delighted and astounded.
Inside, the sumptuous interiors of the Palais Garnier formed the ideal setting to celebrate Longchamp’s history around a theme dear to Creative Director Sophie Delafontaine: movement and dance.
“For 70 years, the House of Longchamp has been in constant motion. This is the hallmark of our family: moving forward, innovating, and always seeking to improve. It is a permanent challenge for a family business in the hyper-competitive world of fashion that never stops. Movement is a state of mind: the Opéra Garnier and the world of dance perfectly illustrate this philosophy.”
Longchamp commissioned the talented Dimitri Chamblas, former Artistic Director of the Opéra Garnier and current Dean of the School of Dance at the Californian Institute of the Arts to create a startling and universal ballet. Knowing the place like the back of his hand, he chose to invest all the spaces with his troupe of thirty dancers, to offer guests a unique experience: a close encounter with dance, so close that they will have access to unfathomable emotions.
“Dance is structured according to rhythms, musicalities, temporalities, durations…
Dance is an art form that works on time.
A birthday is a moment on a lifeline. There is a before and there is an after that one wishes to be infinite.
Longchamp’s 70th anniversary is, in my opinion, a way for the House to remain deeply rooted in the present, to better project itself into the future.”
The dancers led by Dimitri Chamblas expressed the body’s universal language, symbolically uniting all cultures and languages. During the first hours of the evening, they interpreted all forms of dance, including classical, Sufi, hip-hop, breakdance, contemporary, tap dance, K-Pop, Bûto and tango, while the talented and very Parisian Ariel Wizman masterfully mixed the music. The show ended with a magic music box and its dancer crafting the final illusion, somewhere between dream and reality. This immersive, inclusive and accessible show beautifully illustrated Longchamp’s generous and cosmopolitan spirit, under the admiring eyes of the 2,000 guests of the Cassegrain Family.
Among the guests, Kendall Jenner, the House’s new brand ambassador, was the Amazon of the evening in her custom embroidered tulle dress evoking the horse, Longchamp’s iconic emblem, recently featured in Longchamp’s latest brand film.
Many celebrities were present, including Vincent Cassel and Tina Kunakey, Guillaume Canet, Laurent Lafitte, Leila Bekhti, Karine Viard, Ana Girardot, Laury Thilleman, Laurence Ferrari, Caroline Roux, Alessandra Sublet, Ophélie Meunier, Angele Van Laeken, DJ Ariel Wizman, DJ Feder, DJ The Avener, Dimitri Chamblas, Mr. Bags, Saira Kunikada, Heayoun Han, Juwei Teaoh, Ora Ito, Blanca Li and Pierre Hermé and his wife.
Alongside the celebrities and friends of the House, the Cassegrain Family also welcomed some of its collaborators from France and from all over the World. This invitation stemmed from a desire to create an exceptional moment of reunion and family spirit thanks to the presence of craftspeople, model makers and stitchers who sometimes work from generation to generation in the Longchamp workshops of the Loire Valley.
At 10:00 p.m., the time came to officially celebrate the evening in the grand staircase of the Opera. Philippe Cassegrain, President, and his children Jean Cassegrain, CEO, Sophie Delafontaine, Creative Director and Olivier Cassegrain, Director of American boutiques, addressed their warmest thanks to their guests from about thirty countries, all gathered in the heart of Paris, the cradle of the Brand and French know-how.
At 11:00 p.m., the turntables of famous DJs Feder and The Avener ignited the dancefloor, set up for the occasion in the famous “rotonde des abonnés.” At the end of a luminous and mysterious path lit by green neon lights, the House’s emblematic color, the guests were finally able to celebrate, in music, 70 years of audacity and freedom.
In 2018, we celebrate 70 years of Longchamp. 1948 marks the year Jean Cassegrain imparted his unique vision of French elegance and rewrote the rules of modern luxury under the Longchamp brand. A leather pipe maker channeling his craftsmanship into travel accessories, handbags and lifestyle fashion, the Longchamp brand now extends across the globe. His founding entrepreneurial spirit, penchant for excellence and romance with French art-de-vivre spur our adventure in innovative craftsmanship, creativity and unite us as we continue the Longchamp story.
Preserving its independent family origins, the brand is maintained by the Cassegrain family who bring together more than 300 boutiques across 80 countries.