“We have a hiring plan for 450 new positions worldwide at Longchamp”

Cristina D’Agostino

By Cristina D’Agostino28 février 2023

Jean Cassegrain, heir to the Longchamp brand, was in Lausanne to inaugurate a new exclusive collaboration with the Cantonal Museum of Design and Contemporary Applied Arts (mudac). It was an opportunity to unveil the brand's prospects, including a large-scale hiring plan for over 450 employees by 2023, to meet the strong demand to come.

Le pliage bag, which over the decades has become the brand's bestseller, but also the "blank canvas" offered to a few artists to reinterpret its aesthetic codes (Longchamp)


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Longchamp presented its collaboration with the mudac (Musée Cantonale de Design et d'Arts Appliqués Contemporains) and the bag "le Pliage mudac", on January 31st, in Lausanne, Switzerland (Longchamp)

Captivated by Bob Wilson's spectacular scenography for the exhibition "A Chair and you " and by the human mind that has managed to imagine, transform and reinvent objects as simple as a chair for thousands of years, Jean Cassegrain, Longchamp's chairman and CEO, invited the press to understand how the brand has reinterpreted, since 1993, the pliage bag, which has become the brand's bestseller over decades, as well as the "blank canvas" offered to a few different artists to reinterpret its aesthetic codes. In the heart of the mudac - the art and design museum in Lausanne, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, inaugurated six months ago within the new walls of the ambitious Plateforme 10 museum complex - Longchamp presented its new artistic collaboration, in a limited series, alongside the Mudac and the typographic designer Chi-Long Trieu.



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Jean Cassegrain, Chairman and CEO of Longchamp

Jean Cassegrain has inherited his artistic spirit from his grandparents, the founders of the brand, and cultivates it by purchasing works of art, which are exhibited in the completely redesigned Longchamp stores around the world, and by supporting and working with artists such as Carlos Cruz-Diez or Thomas Heatherwick, a designer with whom the brand has created a boutique in New York.

Very early on, in 1972, Longchamp had already initiated a collaboration on products with a Parisian artist, in limited editions. A rather rare approach fifty years ago. An openness to the world that has visibly served the brand well, despite some turbulence during the Covid period, as this year Longchamp will be celebrating its 75th anniversary. A company still in the hands of its founding family, and for which the fourth generation is already at work. Jean Cassegrain tells Luxury Tribune in exclusivity about the visions that will carry Longchamp into the decades to come.

Longchamp has developed the unique concept of "My Pliage", where the customer can design his bag as he wants (Longchamp)

What is your vision for a collaboration?

A beautiful collaboration must leave its mark on people's minds and its time. It must be appealing, like one of our first co-creations with Tracey Emin in 2004. Since then, many others have followed. In all the museums of the world, you will find tote bags with artists' works printed on them. It's not very interesting. The idea, with the Pliage bag in collaboration with mudac and the artist Chi-Long Trieu, for example, is to elevate the project, and to be able to read the DNA of the artist and of Longchamp in it. The bag Le pliage is a blank canvas for artists. It is simple and allows for many things.

Do over a dozen of collaborations a year have an impact on the production chain?

Longchamp has its own workshops. We have the capacity to manufacture in small series, and even by the unit, since we have developed the unique concept of "My Pliage", where customers can design their bag on their own computer screen and send us the drawing. We manufacture it by the unit. The order will then be delivered within three weeks. It's interesting to see that for some, this blank page is intimidating. But it works very well, especially in China and Japan. It solves a seemingly difficult equation for many brands: to have a product that is recognized, in which customers have confidence, but which is also original and unique. This is often a contradiction for brands.

On the picture, the Cassegrain family from left to right: Adrien Cassegrain, Jean Cassegrain, Sophie Delafontaine, Olivier Cassegrain, Adrien Cassegrain (Longchamp)

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