French luxury brand Longchamp was to debut its first West Coast boutique on Monday at Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza, bringing its Le Pliage leather-trimmed nylon tote — among other "it" handbags — to Orange County shoppers.
The 1,722-square-foot shop is an elegant study in wood, lacquer, glass and leather, and features a feminine enclave for the brand's growing ready-to-wear collection that "doesn't exist in any other U.S. store," said Stephanie Disegni, chief executive for Longchamp North America.
Disegni added that the boutique's design showcases the brand's newest store concept, which launched last year in New York.
The new design is part of Longchamp's efforts to reposition the brand as more fashion-forward, while still showcasing its history (the label was founded in Paris in 1948 by Jean Cassegrain, and is still owned and managed by the Cassegrain family.)
Though the brand — which boasts an uncommonly wide price range for a luxury label, with bags priced from about $100 to $1,200 — is popular among fashion magazine editors and French women, it still hasn't reached Louis Vuitton-level popularity, a fact the company hopes to alter as it grows.
The O.C. store employs Longchamp's most emblematic hallmarks, such as Veau Foulonné leather and the LM-print motif, in its décor, and features all of its buzz-y bags, including the Gatsby (a framed leather bag), the Imperial (a slouchy carry-all), the Légende, (a ladylike, structured purse), the Cosmos (a chic bucket bag) and the Gloucester (a luggage-inspired bag co-designed by Kate Moss).
Disegni intimated that the company had been interested in a different location in Southern California, saying, "This great opportunity presented itself at South Coast Plaza and we couldn't pass it up."
She added, "Orange County is very affluent, and the customer there is the customer who … appreciates luxury, and that is our customer."
IF YOU GO
What: Longchamp boutique
Where: South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa (Second level of SCP between the Jewel and Carousel Courts)
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday
Phone: (714) 436-1963.