A new monogram-laden French luxury brand is coming to Singapore. Fauré Le Page (it's pronounced fo-ray-le-pahj) is set to find a permanent home here in June 2019 at Takashimaya Shopping Centre. This will mark the brand's ninth retail presence in the world, and the first for Southeast Asia. So if you haven't heard of the brand till now, you're excused.
It's difficult to not compare Fauré Le Page with its contemporaries such as Moynat and Goyard. All three create bags and accessories featuring distinct monograms, and have their own interpretations of totes and messenger bags covered in said monograms. If you're already familiar with Goyard's hand-painted monogram and Moynat's M-patterned canvas, it's time to get acquainted with Fauré Le Page.
Older than Moynat and Goyard
For starters, Fauré Le Page has been around far longer than Moynat and Goyard. The brand was founded in 1717 by Louis Pigny and was initially named Pigny after its founder, before being changed to Le Page when Louis Pigny passed away in 1743 and ownership of the business was transferred to Pierre Le Page, his niece's husband. The name Fauré Le Page was established only about a century later.
Had nothing to do with fashion
In fact, Fauré Le Page was further away from fashion as compared to its contemporaries, that mostly began as trunk-making businesses. When it was first established, the brand was first and foremost a firearms manufacturer. It supplied weapons to King Louis XV in 1735 and 1756, as well as arming the revolutionary forces during the French Revolution in 1789 and 1830. The brand did make leather goods but they were restricted to gun holsters, firearms-related products, as well as hunting accessories such as kit bags and satchels.
The venture into accessories and bags only began in 2009. Fauré Le Page now pays homage to its roots through the brand's signature gun-shaped pochettes (appropriately called 'Calibre'). And the brand's pieces are also termed as 'weapons of seduction'. Smart.
A new lease of life
Fauré Le Page was relatively quiet until it was purchased by Augustin de Buffévent, who is also the brand's artistic director. de Buffévent acquired the brand in 2011, closed down its first ever store on Paris' rue de Richelieu, and then reopened a brand new store on the famed luxury district of rue Cambon.
The écailles or fish-scales pattern that's become a signature of Fauré Le Page, is derived from the traditional hallmark of master gunmakers. Some have referred to the monogram as resembling chainmail or even dragon scales.
The monogram is handcrafted and takes four months to complete. The addition of colours and details is done through a screen-printing process that is similar to silkscreen printing. The material is then waxed and grained to give it a glossy appearance, as well as to provide a layer of protection against moisture.
In line with its gun-making heritage, the colours of Fauré Le Page's bags and accessories tend to be slightly muted and deeper. The brand's Steel Grey for example, is inspired by the colour of rifle barrels, while the Walnut Brown colour is reminiscent of the burr found on the butt of rifles.