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Longchamp's family values

Longchamp's family values

Longchamp's artistic director Sophie Delafontaine didn't want to work for the family bag business.

The Cassegrains are behind the favourite French brand, which is popular with the likes of Alexa Chung who fronts its campaigns and Kate Moss who has designed her own bag line.

Founded in 1948 by Jean Cassegrain who turned his tobacco shop into an accessories business, the company has remained a family one.

"When you’re a teenager you don’t want to work with your parents!" Jean's granddaughter Sophie laughed to British newspaper The Telegraph. "[Although] being a little girl and going to school with a new bag prototype was very cool.

"I don’t really remember how it happened. I would speak to my father, saying he should do a bag like this or that, then after a time, when I was a bit older and more mature, I wanted to join the company and it became my job."

Longchamp is now run by Jean's son, and Sophie's father, Philippe. He took over the reins after his father died and brought in wife Michèle in to run the retail side of the business. Their son Jean is also a part of the company, helming the role of CEO.

"My father had plenty of ideas. He was very creative, and I became creative through him – he couldn’t sketch so I would do that for him," Philippe explained.

"As a family company we have a lot of stability. The teams don’t change every day – a lot of people here have worked for us for 10, 20, 30 years."

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