HONG KONG – You know a celebrity is attendance at an event in Hong Kong by the number of cameras and reporters clamouring for a quote, a picture or both. At the October 17, 2012, opening of French luxury label Longchamp’s La Maison Canton Road flagship store you couldn’t move for the number of cameras clustered around its doors.
The attendance of top model Coco Rocha – who is also the face of Longchamp’s cute advertising campaign of dancing and bikes – alongside Hong Kong super-celebrity Carina Lau and China star Gao Yuan Yuan ensured a rugby scrum of cameras and microphones as they cut the ribbon with Longchamp President Philippe Cassegrain and CEO Jean Cassegrain.
Longchamp’s Chinese ambassador Gao Yuan Yuan, award-winning Hong Kong actress Carina Lau and internationally renowned top model Coco Rocha, officiated at the opening ceremony of Longchamp La Maison Canton Road, Hong Kong, with Longchamp’s President Philippe Cassegrain and CEO Jean Cassegrain. Image: Jeffrey Leung
Longchamp has been in Asia for over 30 years, but this latest store has to be one of the brand’s highlights; created by renowned architect Eric Carlson with his Carbondale team – both of which have worked with Longchamp before – La Maison Canton Road epitomises the brand’s global concept of combining its historic heritage with contemporary, elegant style.
“This new flagship store marks an important milestone in our relationship with Hong Kong and China, which began in 1979 when we opened our first store here in the city,” explained Jean Cassegrain, CEO of Longchamp and grandson of its founder. “Our heritage, family roots and craftsmanship are important to us, qualities that we know are also valued by our Chinese customers.
“Our women customers are looking for a practical bag that combines quality, creativity and a twist of fun. They are generally active, independent and contemporary. And most importantly: they want to buy a bag for themselves and for their lifestyle.”
The 190 sq m store is spread over three floors with wall-to-ceiling glass frontage featuring the “LM” criss-cross logo design of the brand; the glass façade with its laminate of champagne gold and “pleated folds” of glass adds a distinctive three-dimensional aspect, ensuring the store stands out on the “golden mile” of Canton Road and its endless parade of high-end luxury brands.
The new Longchamp La Maison Canton Road, Hong Kong. Images: Jeffrey Leung
Tying the three floors together is a glass installation art piece made up of Longchamp’s “rainbow” of colours based on its iconic Le Pliage bag range; each floor is dedicated to a particular part of the brand’s heritage and products starting with its “hero pieces” of fashion-forward accessories on the ground floor, flowing through its burgeoning ready-to-wear and shoe section on the second floor, and topping it off with Longchamp’s men’s range, travel range and the classic Le Pliage totes on the third floor.
As part of the celebrations for the opening of the new store, Longchamp has created an exclusive limited edition clutch bag (pictured below) featuring a stunning dragon embroidery; echoing a classical Chinese symbol reinterpreted via historical French versions of Orientalism.
Part of Longchamp’s indulgent “More Is More” range for Autumn Winter 2012, the bag is a patchwork of luxurious textures including patent calfskin leather, embossed calfskin “fur” and Swarovski crystals.
There are only 99 bags available, they’re all numbered – Coco Rocha received number 01 and Carina Lau was given 08 – and are available in black or red versions only from the Longchamp La Maison Canton Road store for HK$8,800 (S$1,387) until they sell out.
The next time you head to Hong Kong, don’t forget to check out this new Longchamp flagship. It’s one of the few stores in the region that carries the brand’s emerging new ready-to-wear line as well as a complete range of its shoes which are rapidly becoming “must-buys”. And if you can manage to get there in the next few weeks, you might even be able to snap up one of the exclusive new clutches!
Longchamp La Maison Canton Road is located at 30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsiu, Hong Kong, Tel: (+852) 2736 7328. For more information about Longchamp, go to www.longchamp.com.
The writer attended the opening of the Longchamp La Maison Canton Road flagship store courtesy of Longchamp and Ram Pacific Singapore.