For over 100 years, French luxury has been synonymous with high profile names like Louis Vuitton and Goyard, but that is set to change with the re-emergence of an unknown gem by the name of Moynat.
Up until two years ago not many people had heard of Moynat although it was founded in 1849, a few years before Vuitton and Goyard, by Octavie and Francois Coulembier and Pauline Moynat. The brand was popular with a select group of French elite, who favoured it thanks to its practical yet luxurious luggage covered in the Moynat monogramme (which could be customised in various colours). Despite this, it remained under the fashion radar and before long it disappeared. Things changed in 2010 when LVMH founder Bernard Arnault decided to make a personal investment in the brand.
Since then Moynat has been making a quiet shout among fashion insiders under the leadership of ex-Hermes designer Ramesh Nair. Nair’s vision for the brand, which also includes men’s and women’s leathergoods and bags – is discreet yet ultra luxurious. The majority of the pieces in France, many by hand at the maison’s atelier using only the finest leathers and skins. When it comes to the designs, there are no seasonal “trend” based collections – instead Nair focuses on creating modern classics with clean silhouettes.
That being said, many of the styles hark back to the brand’s history. Many shapes feature curves inspired by Moynat’s rounded trunks that were designed to fit in the first automobiles. The Réjane bag for example comes with a rounded metal closure that is a re-edition of an original Art Deco piece on the Moynat sac à cadre carré (framed handbag) from 1908. It’s these little touches that evoke a sense of history and allure – much needed components for any luxury brand today.
In addition to new collections, the brand has also opened a series of stores around the world including its first “gallery” in Asia at Landmark featuring women’s and men’s leather goods and accessories, trunks and textiles, as well as bespoke pieces. Another boutique is set to open in Tsim Sha Tsui by the end of the month.
No doubt Moynat is the perfect antidote for discerning shoppers who are looking for a brand that is understated, luxe and ultimately, elusive.
Moynat is at The Landmark, Central, Hong Kong, tel: +852 2596 0555; www.moynat.com