Longchamp is delighted to announce Longchamp & André, a collaboration with the Parisian graffiti artist André Saraiva, whose jaunty Mr. A character – with his winking eye and toothy grin – spreads humour and happiness wherever he pops up, be that on the walls of the French capital, or countless other cities around the world.
It is a collaboration that seemed destined to happen; an encounter written in the stars – or, more precisely, on a door, as Longchamp Creative Director Sophie Delafontaine explains: “Years ago, one of our first Paris showrooms was a rented space near Place de la Concorde. When we moved in, we discovered André had been there before us – because right there, on the back of a door, was Mr. A. You could say that was our first meeting. We eventually left the showroom, but we kept the door!”
André, for his part, was well aware of Longchamp’s Le Pliage®, a design he admires for its “simplicity and practicality which transcend time and fashion trends.” He was therefore keen to accept Longchamp’s invitation to become the latest artist to turn the iconic foldable bag into a canvas for creativity. With a few bold strokes of his pen, André transformed four formats of Le Pliage® – all in recycled nylon – into three variations of Mr. A and one of his companion, Mrs. A, who bats her eyelashes and blows a kiss. “The designs are typical André: full of energy, poetry and positivity,” says Sophie Delafontaine. “Everyone knows that Le Pliage® is a favourite canvas for artists, but this is the first time it has actually become a character!”
The colours nod to André’s pop palette – “I’m in my pink and blue period,” quips the artist about his choice of candy pink and sky blue, adding that he particularly loves to work with pink because “it’s the only colour that marries with all the others.” The range is completed by graphic black and a particularly vibrant take on Longchamp’s signature green.
A special request from André was to create a leather version of its Le Pliage® travel bag that he could take with him on his frequent trips around the world. Accordingly, Longchamp selected a natural calf leather that will acquire a beautiful patina over time, while André revisited the Longchamp racehorse medallion in his own inimitable style. “The new medallion is a true combination of André and Longchamp,” says Sophie Delafontaine, pointing out that the circular medallion has long featured on the zip pull of Le Pliage®, while the circle is the basis of André’s best-known characters. “I can draw perfect circles with my eyes closed,” smiles the artist.
The final highlight of the collaboration is a limited edition of 200 small Le Pliage® bags in recycled polyester canvas, printed in pink and blue with Mr. A motifs, which will be customised directly by André. Each bag will be totally unique and individually numbered – an original artwork to carry around every day!