The quintessential French woman is surrounded by a certain mystique and a fine grasp of je ne sais quoi (“I don’t know what,” the French attitude of not caring too much). Fashionable yet effortless, nonchalant and seemingly unaffected, her manner of dress is guided by pure instinct, and it is this instinct that Lancel represents. As a brand that has, for 135 years now, been the premier name in handbags and luggage, it embodies the Parisian spirit while taking on a global outlook, keeping true to its fundamental values of daring, imagination, and innovation.
The shifting of seasons is a momentous occasion in France, where it also means a change in wardrobe, and for Fall/Winter 2012-2013, Lancel has come up with a new range of collections to mark the shift. The collection features two new vintage series: La Charmeuse, which is inspired by the soft, curvy female figures of the 18th century; La Galante, which brings back the vintage looks of 1974.
These two vintage collections as well as additions to the classic collections were launched in the Philippines this September 13, a special event attended by Xavier Le Borgne, the Head of Branded Retail at Lancel, who has been with the company since September 2011. His expertise in luxury goods and jewelry was honed by his education in Marketing and Finance in Cleveland State University in Ohio, U.S.A. and furthered by his many years of experience in the fashion and apparel industry in New York City.
One of the additions to Lancel’s classic collections is the Premiere Flirt Tote, a spin-off from the classic bucket bag style. Light, handy, and resolutely modern, it is the ultimate incarnation of pure French nonchalance. Le Brigitte Bardot, (“BB” for short) on the other hand, pays tribute to the 1960s French screen siren and sex symbol by launching a new denim-themed version suited for the leisurely pace of city living. The BB collection is one of the most popular among the younger generation, who often harbor a fascination for Bardot’s era and its bohemian spirit. Meanwhile, L’Adjani, another line inspired by a French actress, the beautiful Isabelle Adjani, retains its unique silhouette but using exceptional lambskin and mock python leather.
In celebration of its 135th year, Lancel has also come up with an entirely new collection — L’Angèle by Lancel. This bag is named after Angèle Lancel, who founded Lancel in 1876. Strong-willed and forward-looking, she created handbags and leather accessories for discriminating women, unique creations that are as elegant as they are impertinent, as stylish as they are functional. The L’Angele’s silhouette is inspired by one of Lancel’s vintage handbags from the 1960s, as can be seen in the generous lines and the curve of the champagne-colored clasps. Inside, a whole chapter of Lancel’s history opens up: with an ingenious mechanism to fix upright the mirror flap, creating a vanity with which to check your makeup.
The current pride of Lancel is the Daligramme collection. The Daligramme is Lancel’s interpretation of Salvador Dali’s “daligramas” (a secret language characterized by an alphabet dedicated to his muse, Gala). It comes in a range of styles like the small crossbody bag Dalidol Limited Edition, the Dalichic handbag, the Dalfini shopping tote, the Daligala bucket bag, the Dalidream day pouch, the Dalistory and Dalisecret handbags, the Dalinight overnight bag, and the Dalirious tote.
The classic Elsa Sellier collection is celebrating its 25th year, and the traditional series is being reintroduced in new fun colours.. in coated canvas and smooth leather, styles in the collection include the Elsa bowling bag, the Elsa shopper, the Elsa document case, and of course the iconic Elsa bucket bag that comes in trendy colors like ruby pink, pepper, royal blue and celadon green.
French Flair takes inspiration from French women noted for their grace, their natural beauty, and their unique but measured sense of style that is so often imitated. French Flair comes in a delicious assortment of midnight blue, ruby, black, azure, red, saffron, and pepper. The line also features new exotic leathers, including mock python skin in black or natural, among others.
About the Brand
Maison Lancel was founded in 1876 by Angèle—a smart and vivacious woman who opened a shop nears the Opéra Garnier. There, she sold articles for smokers, but eventually ventured into ornaments and accessories for ladies. The turn of the century marked a change in fashion and lifestyles and so the Maison’s activities focused on ladies’ accessories and decorative objects. As part of the change, the classic purse was replaced with the handbag.
Lancel’s creativity was further reinforced in the Roaring Twenties, where the windows of its stores (that grew from a modest 10 in the 1900 to 17 in 1917) became showcases for decorative tableware, clocks, jewelry, phonographs, cameras, and later on luggage—items that manifested the love for travel and exploration in this era.
In 1927, Lancel developed its legendary bucket bag—an icon of the French Légèreté, and this style was reintroduced as Premiere Flirt in 2006. Two years after, Maison Lancel moved inside in Place de L’Opéra, the building where its flagship store remains until this day. During the time between the two World Wars marked intense growth for the brand, which brought about new products like the “Lancel Aviona trunk” and the “Umbrella Bag.”
In the 1950s, Lancel launched its first “supple” luggage Kangourou, signaling the beginning of the era of modern luggage. In the 1980s, the Bucket bag was re-edited under the name of Elsa, which quickly became one of the brand’s bestsellers. Another innovation was the interpretation of Salvador Dali’s “daligramas” (a secret language characterized by an alphabet dedicated to his muse, Gala) by creating the Dali, a unique collector’s bag dedicated to Gala.
The turn of the millennium signaled the start of the intense focus of Lancel on its leather goods. This time they took their inspiration from Alice Taglioni, the blonde muse of French Cinema and Olympic champion Laure Manaudou. Other ambassadors include Isabelle Adjani, which prompted the creation of the Adjani handbag. In 2010, the brand turned to Brigitte Bardot, the legendary actress who inspired the Brigitte Bardot bag—a piece that evokes her sensuality and femininity.