At Your Home Without Me: The Obstacle Race of Olivier Cassegrain
A jockey smoking a pipe on a galloping horse. In a single blue stroke of pencil, Marion Naufal’s watercolor sums up the challenges of a race, a style, a brand—Longchamp—and of the family Cassegrain whose history has been attached to America right from the start.
Comfortably seated on his New York terrace, the grandson of the Longchamp’s founder, Olivier Cassegrain, is meticulously watching over the American destiny of the family business.
While retail sales in Texas are slowly picking up again, the original Madison Avenue boutique is still closed along with all the other luxury brands in Manhattan. In Soho, the Maison Longchamp remains as empty as the Hudson Yards Vessel where, until a few weeks ago, tourists, business travelers and New Yorkers flocked. “The stairs of the Vessel are with those of the Soho boutique the most famous in New York,” says Cassegrain. They are both the work of the same English architect. “I would be quite happy to see more people on these stairs soon,” adds the Vice-President of Longchamp United States with a smile, “at least a little more on those in SoHo than on those of Hudson Yards.” Filling these stairs is just an additional challenge for the man who loves nothing more than overcoming obstacles with a cigar on his lips.
A Stylish Elevator for an Ethical Bag
As published in First Class Life magazine | Mexico
There is an old elevator in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, so old that there are no buttons to push, but instead, a cable to maneuver expertly once the primitive steel doors are closed. This is as vintage as it can be: breathing life into memories and ghostly stories alike while eluding a romantic New York, a far cry from the Hudson Yards that recently opened just a few blocks away to the West.
Once inside the third-floor loft, painted in dark and woody colors, a feeling of entering a special world takes the visitor even further. The furniture is a balanced mix between antique tables and lamps found in flea markets and modern sofas and tables. On the right, a small corner office is filled with leather pieces, bouts of fur, African jewelry and a dozen of handbags: clutch, shoulder, tote, crossbody and pouch styles. They are all part of the collection that Ingrid Bruha, a French woman who moved back to the United States with her American husband Sheldon and their three children in 2013, has created for her eponymous and fast-growing brand.
Ethical Fashion: UpCycle!
Fire chat with Gabriella Smith, the founder of the UpCycle Project
Passionate about fashion and an entrepreneur at heart, Gabriella Smith wanted to be disruptive. Her clothes had to be more than just a brand, more than just beautiful. “I wanted a story of purpose, respect, transparency and reasonability.” So, after a first corporate experience at Estée Lauder, she launched The UpCycle Project, “an education platform to raise awareness of the waste the fashion industry creates by developing hands-on workshops, student mentorship programs, debates, as well as innovative events and products to develop circular solutions for fashion and other industries.”