Considered one of the best-kept secrets by luxury purveyors out in the open, those in the know would’ve recently heard that Parisian maison Faure Le Page will be opening its first Singapore outpost at Level 2 Takashimaya Shopping Centre in June — making it the latest heritage bag label to have presence in the +65. For those who still unfamiliar with the label, here’s a 101 on why it’s one of our favourite under-the-radar (well for now) brands for leather goods.
#1: First off, the basics: the brand is pronounced as “foray le pahj”.
#2: It has been around even before Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen wrote The Little Mermaid. In fact, the history of the brand started more than 300 years ago in 1717, during the reign of Louis XV, as a gunsmith and swordsmith opened by a businessman from Normandy named Louis Pigny.
#3: The brand only started using its current name in 1865 thanks to Pigny’s descendant Emile Henry Faure Le Page who had taken over the family business by then.
#4: You would never think of buying bags and leather goods at Faure Le Page before 1925. Up till then, it created weapons and ceremonial weapons for several European courts and nobility. But the brand expanded its repertoire when it started making leather hunting goods from the ’20s up till 2009.
#5: It boasts a strong connection to France’s history because the Le Page clan supplied weapons to the revolutionary forces during the French revolutions of 1789 and 1830.
#6: The brand’s direction started to change in 2009 when a former Dior staffer named Augustin de Buffevent acquired the brand and revived its former insider and cult status by tapping on the brand’s heritage for crafting leather goods. It officially opened its first store in Rue Cambon in 2012.
#7: In order to reboot the brand and position it as a leather goods maker, De Buffevent (he’s also the artistic director of the brand) looked back to its heritage as a gunsmith. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, he said: “People don’t realise that leather goods were created by gunsmiths. Bags were made initially for men not women. Many shapes that have been adopted by the fashion world come from the hunting industry such as the bucket bag.”
#8: There’s a cheeky wink to the brand’s past in making weapons. For instance, the signature Calibre 21 shoulder bags are inspired by cartridge boxes and come with a whimsical gun-shaped coin purse on the front.
#9: The brand’s trademark fish scale monogram canvas is based on an archival pattern and goes through an elaborate and painstaking printing method that’s said to be akin to silkscreen printing. In all, each canvas goes through a seven-step process and four months to complete.
#10: To ensure the strength and durability of the canvas, it’s put through something of a boot camp. It is said that each prototype is stretched and folded for up to 20,000 times.
#11: Singapore will be the brand’s ninth store in the world and the first in the region. Prior to this, the nearest spots where customers can get their hands on the brand’s merch are Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.
#12: Thanks to Singapore’s rep as a Garden City, de Buffevent has conceptualised the Singapore store to evoke a tropical garden setting, complete with tropicana wallpaper and orchids.
#13: If you’re into collectables, there will be several boutique exclusives sold at the Singapore store, including exotic clutches in alligator and python as well as personalised medallions.
Cover images: Instagram (@faurelepage)