Growing up, my mom always had one of Longchamp’s iconic Le Pliage tote bags. I remember her carrying those bags to work, while running errands, and even on family vacations. To me as a kid, Longchamp symbolized French sophistication. Their bags exuded simple, understated elegance; stylish in an effortless way. Is Longchamp a luxury brand, though? I was curious so I decided to learn more about the company. What I discovered surprised me.
Longchamp has a rich heritage that goes back over 70 years. And they make much more than just those classic totes.
Their line also includes premium leather handbags, wallets, shirts, shoes, scarves, and other accessories. Let’s find out whether Longchamp is a luxurious brand or not.
Shocking! What Makes a Brand Luxury?
Luxury items give you pleasures and comforts beyond just basic necessities. But for a brand to be truly “luxury,” there are some elements that go beyond the high price tag.
I’ll never forget the first time I walked into a Cartier store in Rome. The moment I stepped inside, I was transported to a world of refinement.
The warm wood, chandeliers, and attentive staff made it clear this place was in a league of its own. You wouldn’t get the same ambiance in a Bulova store, simply because it’s not a high-end luxury brand.
While rarity and cost are part of luxury’s appeal, it’s really about how a brand makes you feel. I can’t recall the exact things I couldn’t afford that day at Cartier, but the sense of elegance has stayed with me.
At their best, luxury brands sell us more than overpriced goods. They invite us into their world of refined living that we wish we could inhabit, if only for a little while. They sell us experiences and status.
Longchamp Heritage: From Leather Pipes to Totes
Longchamp has been crafting fancy leather goods for over 70 years now. The brand was launched in 1948 in Paris when Jean Cassegrain started selling luxury leather covered pipes.
His son Philippe took over the business in 1983. Under Philippe’s leadership, Longchamp expanded beyond just pipes.
They began making lightweight travel bags that people loved for their quality materials. They opened stores around the globe, including their iconic Fifth Avenue flagship in New York City, which solidified their reputation as a prestigious brand.
Philippe introduced Longchamp’s most famous product ever in 1993: the Le Pliage tote bags. Made with durable canvas and leather straps, these bags quickly became fan favorites for their simplicity, lightweight feel, and myriad colors and styles offered.
After decades in the business, Longchamp has maintained their expertise in fine leathercraft while winning fans over with bags like the ubiquitous Le Pliage.
They’ve certainly built up quite a legacy as a French luxury brand name over the years.
The Anticipated “Drops”: Longchamp’s Product Exclusivity
Is Longchamp a luxury brand? To truly be considered “luxury”, a brand needs to meet certain standards. Longchamp makes well-constructed leather bags, clothing, and accessories.
But they’re not as exclusive and hard-to-get as the super expensive bags from Hermès or Louis Vuitton. Still, Longchamp does offer some limited edition versions of their classic designs, which helps keep things feeling a bit special.
Over the years, they’ve collaborated with different artists and designers to create limited edition Le Pliage nylon bags and other products.
For instance, in 2020 they teamed up with Pokemon for an exclusive Pikachu-themed drop. They’ve also released limited edition luggage, Zip Collection, and LM Collection bags designed by various artists.
While you can find basic black or navy Le Pliage totes in many stores, the brand does generate some hype around the new limited styles and colors that launch frequently.
Iconic Ambassadors Who Took Longchamp to the Next Level
Longchamp has worked with a ton of big name artists and celebrities over the years to boost their image as a luxury brand.
With such high-profile collaborations and endorsements, one might ask: Is Longchamp a designer brand? A few years back, Kate Moss actually designed her own line of handbags for them.
Having a supermodel like Kate put her stamp of approval on the company really helped make Longchamp seem like a prestigious, high-end label.
I’ll never forget their 70th anniversary fashion show in 2018. They went all out, getting young celebs like Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber, and Kate Moss herself to walk the runway.
Talk about star power! When it comes to influencing fashion, Kendall Jenner is a total force of nature. With 293 million followers on Instagram, everything she wears immediately becomes a trend.
What I thought was so interesting was that even though Kendall isn’t French, Longchamp’s creative director Sophie saw her as the perfect choice for the brand.
Sophie said Kendall embodies the chic, cosmopolitan style that Longchamp is all about. But Longchamp didn’t stop there.
That same year, they collaborated with the streetwear designer Shayne Oliver on an exclusive new collection.
Working with Shayne was a stroke of genius. His street cred gave Longchamp major points with pop culture fans and fashionistas.
Do Longchamp Bags Look More Expensive Than Their Price Tags?
Is Longchamp a luxury brand? Their prices seem more in line with an “affordable luxury” label. Their iconic Le Pliage bags have become a total cult favorite over the years.
They’re stylish yet super practical. The tote bags are especially perfect for everything from running errands to taking off on a spontaneous weekend trip.
The price of a Longchamp’s Le Pliage bag is:
- Filet Mesh bag — $205
- Xtra L handbag — $1,110
- Xtra Travel bag — $1,375
Is Longchamp Le Pliage worth it? Absolutely. These bags last forever and you can use them for anything. The Roseau Collection demonstrates Longchamp’s talent for mixing fresh design with timeless sophistication.
Those unique bamboo toggle clasps really set the bags apart from other styles. I still remember the thrill I felt the first time I received a Roseau bag as a gift.
Its structured shape and attention to detail made it the star of my collection. The price of a Roseau bag is:
- Essential XL Crossbody — $500
- M handbags — $1,110
Does Longchamp’s Cult Following Reflect on Resale Value?
Even though Longchamp has a major cult following, that popularity doesn’t translate to high resale value. In fact, their bags tend to lose a lot of their value pretty quickly.
Just take a look at the popular resale sites. You’ll see Longchamp bags selling for 50% less than their original price, after only being used a little bit.
Some styles drop 80% or 90%! That kind of steep drop in value makes you wonder how much staying power or prestige the brand really has for luxury shoppers.
Sure, limited editions or special collaborations might hold value a bit better. But compared to mega-luxury brands like Gucci or Louis Vuitton, Longchamp is still way behind when it comes to how well their bags retain value over time.
Considering this low resale value, is Longchamp a luxury brand? While high-end brands don’t lose much value, we have to evaluate other criteria to determine the true positioning of Longchamp.
Longchamp Product Quality: Better Than Other Luxury Brands?
Is Longchamp a French brand? Absolutely, most of their leather goods, clothing, and shoes are made in western France where they have six factories.
This allows them to have tight quality control. They do have two small scale factories in Tunisia and Mauritius.
Plus, they partner with some workshops in China, Romania, and Morocco to assemble some products. You can see where your item was made on the products’ label.
From my experience owning a few Longchamp bags, I can say they’re built to last. The leather stays soft and the stitching holds up great, even after years of use.
This kind of longevity tells me they’re using high quality materials and lots of craftsmanship, probably from their French factories.
Is Longchamp a Luxury Brand Despite the Breathtaking Simplicity Behind Its Iconic Designs?
Is Longchamp a luxury brand? Like every top-tier brand, Longchamp has several stylish collections but the Le Pliage line is the epitome of its fashion-forward yet timeless design aesthetic.
While less expensive than many luxury brands, the Le Pliage has become iconic in its own right. There is an indefinable quality about these bags that has captivated customers for decades.
The original Le Pliage, launched in 1993, was a revolutionary modern take on the traditional nylon shopper. Its handsome simplicity, rich colors, and lightweight durable material made it an instant classic.
What sets Longchamp apart is this ability to marry Parisian chic with everyday practicality. The Le Pliage embodies that balance perfectly: stylish without trying too hard, sophisticated yet understated.
The Disturbing Facts Longchamp Doesn’t Want You to Know
Real luxury today demands not just finely crafted design, but a dedication to values that uplift people and communities.
The 2022 Fashion Transparency Index gave Longchamp a woefully low score of 3% based on how much information the company discloses about its social and environmental policies.
Longchamp doesn’t seem to have any measures in place to ensure workers are paid well and have good working conditions.
The brand also fails to say if they use any organic or recycled materials except for a few collections. Given these conditions, is Longchamp a luxury brand?
A true luxury brand must be open about their sourcing, worker treatment, and sustainable practices. Longchamp shares almost nothing on these topics.
Without external audits, goals, and certificates, there’s no way to know if their supply chain is truly ethical.
The fact that they’re so secretive gives a bad first impression. It makes it seem like they just want to claim they “care”, without actually making real improvements.
A luxury brand’s commitment to ethical sourcing, fair pay, and environmental stewardship should match the care they put into their designs.
Longchamp’s classic fashion sense feels empty without real transparency and values behind it.
Does Longchamp Have the Worst Customer Service Around?
Is Longchamp a luxury brand? I’d love to say yes but the customer service doesn’t give me the confidence. Just look at their reviews online.
On Trustpilot, they have an awful 1.5 star rating out of 5 with 79% of the reviews being just one star. Customers complain about unreliable after-sales care.
Even small issues like a broken zipper seem to become hassles. There are also gripes about damaged orders, returns being a pain, and unhelpful customer service.
Part of what you pay for with luxury is pampering. You want to feel cared for and that they’ll stand behind their products.
Longchamp is a fashion brand, but from what customers say, Longchamp has some catching up to do there. If I ordered a Longchamp bag and the zipper broke after a few months, I imagine I’d be pulling my hair out trying to get them to fix or replace it.
And that’s not the experience I expect from a high-end brand.
Is Longchamp a Luxury Brand? The Verdict
Longchamp is a fashion brand, no doubt about it. But I’m not sure they really count as a luxury brand. The craftsmanship, materials, and classic styles definitely scream “high-end.
” Yet the low price-point, below-par customer services, and questionable sustainable practices will make you think twice.
Longchamp is an affordable luxury brand. They’re like that “middle ground” between cheap brands and super expensive ones.
Don’t get me wrong, Longchamp makes quality stuff. The leather feels nice and thick, the stitching is perfect, and the designs are stylish.
But their bags cost a fraction of what you’d pay for a Louis Vuitton or Chanel purse.
Is Longchamp a Luxury Brand: FAQs
What kind of brand is Longchamp?
Longchamp is not Louis Vuitton-level prestigious, but still has a reputation for well-made, classic styles at reasonable prices. They’ve built their brand on French savoir faire, a special French knack for finding the right balance of function and style.
Why is Longchamp so popular?
Longchamp bags are everyone’s favorite due to their lightweight yet durable designs. They are also available in various styles and colors with affordable prices.
What is the brand positioning of Longchamp?
Longchamp’s brand positioning is “affordable luxury”. They make nice, high-quality handbags that have a bit of French flair and style. However unlike the major luxury brands, Longchamp’s prices are mid-range.
Is Longchamp a Luxury Brand?
Longchamp, while not a luxury brand in the traditional sense, is a premium brand that provides high-quality products at more accessible prices.