Longchamp is a French leather goods company that has been around since 1948. I had always associated it with an older, more sophisticated crowd due to the classic leather silhouettes they use (think 30- or 40-somethings carrying the bags or luggage for career-related functions). The Longchamp Le Pliage nylon travel tote bag has been around for a long time (the 90’s maybe??) but for whatever reason recently, like, the past 2 or 3 months, I have started to see them EVERYWHERE. I do not know if they just gained popularity in my city or what, but my gosh! Maybe it is the recession? I used to walk through the mall and regularly see pre-teens, teenagers, and 20-somethings with $300+ Coach or Dooney and Bourke bags – lately the La Pliage has supplanted those “designer” brands and my guess is the $100-$140 price tag is more palatable. This bag has definitely brought Longchamp to the younger crowd.
I do like the Le Pliage, particularly the small and medium sizes where the leather flap seems more proportional to the size of the bag itself. Despite my love of tote-type bags (I have a ton because I love to switch them out to carry to my night classes three or four nights a week), I have been unsure about getting one of these since I did not love the colors. I tend to gravitate toward whites, greys, blacks, and a few select bright colors.
However, recently I noticed that the Longchamp website allows you to “customize” a Le Pliage – you choose the size, hardware color (silver, gold or gunmetal), the strap length (long or short), a color combination, and monogramming (either embroidery on the nylon or engraving in the leather).
I had not been entirely sold on the Le Pliage until I discovered this “create your own” Le Pliage. I toyed around with the color combinations a bit, and call me boring, but I really love the white-on-white nylon and gold hardware with the brown leather and long straps. I also think the engraving on the leather personalizes it a bit since it is otherwise such a simple design. I am looking forward to getting this combination in the medium size – it will be a perfect color combo for spring and summer. I also like that while it is a simple bag that many people own, I can get one for just $25 more than is different than most everyone else’s: