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July 29 2014

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DSM Brings Moynat to the Big Apple

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DSM Bags

There’s much to be said for the luxury of the discreet, something Moynat has in spades. Sans screaming logos, and even sans advertisements, the Parisian luggage label has made its name on the weight of an impressive heritage. Now, after more than a century and a half, the brand will make its first foray into the stateside market, with a temporary ground-floor boutique in New York’s Dover Street Market. The space opens tomorrow.

Since its inception in 1849, Moynat has enjoyed a storied history as a malletier alongside counterparts Goyard and Vuitton, outfitting Europe’s upper echelons with bespoke trunks. Long before Mulberry’s Alexa, Marc’s Stam, or even the Birkin, there was Moynat’s Réjane, a handbag en homage to celebrated Belle Epoque actress Gabrielle Réjane. But by the latter half of the 20th century, the tide had turned. The grande dame Parisian boutique shuttered in the mid-seventies and Moynat languished more or less in obscurity until being acquired by LVMH in 2010. Since then, CEO Guillaume Davin and artistic director Ramesh Nair have been tasked with reacquainting the world with the house’s former glory. First up was a 2,150-square-foot flagship at 348 Rue Saint-Honoré, which bowed in 2011. Nair has paid particular attention to a sense of joie de vivre, whipping up a sumptuous valise specifically to house the macarons of Pierre Hermé and an opulent, bicycle-mounted picnic case for those who would take their lunch alongside the Seine. A first international boutique opened its doors in London just a month ago, and tomorrow, Midtown East.

DSM

Le Moynat Trunk Show (a tribute to the brand’s historic “caravan” approach to presenting their wares abroad) has made stops previously at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Isetan Shinjuku in Tokyo. Along with a bevy of other goods, the Dover Street installment will feature two one-off, hand-painted Quattro bags inspired by New York. “We wanted to blend into [the space] and at the same time tell a story, because for us the most important element in debuting in New York is to share a bit of our history and show our values,” Davin says. Happily, Comme des Garçons CEO Adrian Joffe and his team have endeavored to make that as liberating an experience as possible. “We give them a space and a few health and safety rules, and then leave them complete freedom to do what they want. We urge them to be creative and to be freer than they would be normally. We encourage them to ignore corporate constraints where possible.”

While the pairing of famously cutting-edge DSM and a historic brand unfazed by trend or the passage of time may seem incongruous at first glance, Joffe is quick to dismiss any naysaying. “The juxtaposition of heritage and strong fashion is a very important part of Dover Street Market, just as is the clashing of luxury and streetwear, the iconic and the iconoclastic, the simple and the more complicated—all go toward the aim of an exciting shopping experience through the realization of beautiful chaos. Creative, visionary people do not need borders and boundaries and categorization.”

Le Moynat Trunk Show will be open at Dover Street Market New York, located at 160 Lexington Avenue, from April 24 to June 22.

Photos: Courtesy Photos

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