In the 1950s, the kindred connection between Longchamp and Japan sparked much like the cigarettes the men traded amongst one another for leather-trimmed pipes and elegant leather smoking accessories of the brand. For the ladies, they traded their purses for the first Longchamp LM handbag collection in the 1970s, which charmed the Japanese women with its French elegance and soft, sensual natural leather.
Since then, Longchamp has maintained its prominence across the Land of the Rising Sun as a marker of style and contemporary Parisian luxury fashion. Recently, the kinship peaked with the opening of the flagship store in Omotesando, Tokyo’s luxury fashion district, hosting the widest range of Longchamp collections in Asia, from women’s handbags and ready-to-wear, the men’s collections, and all of Longchamp’s iconic luggage bags.
Regarded as “more than a boutique, it’s a signature building for Longchamp” by Longchamp CEO and grandson of the House’s founder Jean Cassegrain, the flagship at La Maison Omotesando is the brand’s largest boutique in Asia, standing proud at 35 metres tall, across seven storeys and 500sqm of floor space.
Carrying a façade named Prismatic, the innovative architectural design features iconic metal blades that envelope the tall glass tower, with panels hued in soft tones of beige, pearls and champagne, floating against the length of the exterior of the building. Like delicate interlacing ribbons, the edifice comes to life at night as lights line each panel, flickering and dancing across its surface, drawing customers in to the store with intimate light-filled rooms with visible Zelkova trees that line the avenue of “the Champs-Elysées of Tokyo.”
Inside, the Longchamp flagship holds another key design along the floating staircase, where artist John Aslanidis created a tailor made, in-situ artwork especially for La Maison Omotesando that combines his multi-disciplinary approach of art, music and mathematics, with Longchamp’s values of innovation and creative expression resonating throughout the space, through the vivid vibrations of the Sonic Network No. 18.
Each room in the Longchamp flagship is dedicated to a Longchamp collection, from its ready-to-wear, to its personalisation station, to the men’s boutique downstairs, in an attempt to provide an exclusive experience for those who come through the doors, paying particular attention to the welcome and quality of services.
The men’s floor is not only the first in-store men’s boutique with a dedicated space reserved exclusively for the trove of men’s accessories and travel items, but it also offers a unique glimpse at the brand’s heritage: what started off as the brand’s foray into the luxury business with leather trimmed smoking accessories back in 1948, quickly clamoured to success with the expansion of lambskin garment bags, and eventually, a complete range of men’s travelling accessories, including document bags, supple backpacks and iPad saddlebags.