OLIVIER CASSEGRAIN, Feb 27, 21
Co-Owner & in charge of the US market LONGCHAMP bags
IS A LONGCHAMP BAG MORE THAN AN ACCESSORY ?
OC : "In the 1980s, we ran an advertising campaign that said "Longchamp and me, it's for a long time". Myself, I carry my house on my back and when I choose a bag, I keep it for at least 5 years. This year, we did not choose a muse in our advertising campaign, it is a decision on our part because after Kendal Jenner, we wanted someone whose behavior and attitude our customers feel closer to. As was the case with Kate Moss who during our 7 campaigns, had an extraordinary charisma, a naturalness and spontaneity. She outperforms and far outclasses all Instagram starlets."
TO WHAT DETAILS DO YOU ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION ON YOUR DINNER TABLE ?
OC : "I'm a bit of a maniac because I went to hotel school ... I am very attentive to the way the forks are placed. In France, forks point down because the coat of arms was engraved on the back of the handle of the fork. I also always make sure that the knives are not too far from the edge of the table. And, I always pay attention to the positioning of the glasses. Indeed, I don't like it when they take the wrong place. Today we often have a tumbler for water and a wine glass, it bothers me because it is not visually harmonious. Then, it depends on where you are: if it is a lunch in the south of France where the atmosphere is more relaxed then, it bothers me less but in Paris for example, I find that the tumbler and the wine glass do not fit together next to each other. Also, I hate when the napkins are excessively folded. This is the rule I learned in school, a simple fold is always the best."
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT TABLE MANNERS ?
OC : "I show my daughter how to sit up straight, telling her what I used to hear as a child "pull out your chest, tuck your stomach in and squeeze your butt." Also to be patient, to let the adults talk, which is not easy for her… because as soon as she has something to say, she says it, she is only 6 years old… also, I make her understand that she has to listen to what adults are talking about and to not cut them off because she is part of a conversation and depending on how she is going to intervene, this will show that she is interested in what is going on or that she is not interested in it ..."
IS THERE A BAG COLLECTION THAT EVOKES NOSTALGIA TO YOU ?
OC : "I am thinking of the Zip Bag which was designed by Thomas Heatherwick in a limited edition in 2005. A bag built around a long zipper which was very popular at that time. It was pretty, practical, chic, sober, very functional and with a combination of materials and colors (black leather and orange nylon for example). We then chose Thomas Heatherwick to design the staircase in our Soho boutique, which we called Maison Unique Longchamp. Crafted from laminated steel, it was the 1st work of art of the the famous British designer before making his second creation in Hudson yards, The Vessel."
A CULT FIGURE OF YOUR CHILDHOOD ?
OC : "More than a character, the influence of the disco music that I loved to dance and sing on when I was young"
A PLACE THAT RESOURCES YOU ?
OC : "I miss Courchevel very much, I've been going there since I was born. I have never skied anywhere else and this year due to the virus we will not be able to go. Another place, Corsica, where I have also been going since I was born,
I was baptized in the church of Porto Veccio.
YOUR GREATEST FOOLISHNESS ?
OC: " My greatest folly was to accept a position in the Hilton hotel in Bora Bora. I was hired as a front deak agent and when I arrived there, I was directly appointed rooms division manager. It should have caught my attention!! I left on a December 22nd and it was heartbreaking for my parents "
HOW DOES THE LONGCHAMP STORE IN NY SYMBOLIZE FRENCH ART OF LIVING IN ITS OWN WAY ?
OC : "In the Soho's boutique (132 Spring Street, NYC, NY) which is 500m2, we have a 200m2 terrace that we lend for outdoor events that has nothing to do with our band. Keeping our terrace out of charge and available for events is part of a philanthropic approach in line with the image that we wish to convey "simple and accessible". As regularly, on Saturdays for several years, the teachers of architecture schools come with their students and spend long hours sketching the architectural steel staircase of the store. We are happy to receive visits from people who come to discover the store. Our desire of hosting and receiving people is part of our art of living. And we are very comfortable to welcome architecture students as well as the architect of the Vessel. We want to stay "chic in all circumstances"
A MOVING ENCOUNTER WITH SOMEONE?
OC : "Kate Moss!
And Bob Kennedy Jr. also… People in front of him are like facing a guru, he is passionate about what he does… it was a very nice meeting"
WHAT KIND OF GIFT DO YOU LIKE TO GIVE ?
OC : "What I find is very difficult and very interesting at the same time is to give a gift that you do not like but that will please the person concerned. This year, I found some nice presents around themes such as gardening,
cooking or coffee. Last January, I gave a friend for her birthday our new bag that we just released:
le Sac Filet which is the result of our collaboration with the Normande Filt brand which makes shopping bags"
YOUR PASSION ?
OC : " I am passionnate about Longchamp vintage articles. I've got a lot and I always look for other ones on ebay. My family started the business with a sortiment of pipe bags, tobacco pouches, pipe stands, ashtrays, tampers, lighters – all made of or clad in leather."