I have known about Moreau-Paris for a few years now - ever since living in San Francisco and seeing a friend (who is very in the know fashion-wise) carrying a wallet by the brand. At the the time, you could only acquire Moreau's leather bags, luggage and accessories in Paris. If only we had stayed in San Francisco a extra year, we would have been able to celebrate the opening of Moreau-Paris and the brand's fist United States boutique. Lucky for me, my husband and I planned a long weekend visit to SF in September and I was able to stop by the flagship store and experience the world of Moreau in person. I can't help but share the gorgeous store and more about the brand...so keep reading to "meet" Moreau-Paris.
Walking into the Moreau store in San Francisco is like stepping into a jewel box…the walls are painted in Moreau’s signature blue hue and adorned with the most beautiful and carefully displayed colorful bags in all shapes and sizes. The photos I took while there truly don’t do it justice. Although the space is a retail location, you feel as if you are in an inviting library or den of sorts with the carved wood fireplace, herringbone wood floors, and vintage Moreau steamer trunk flanked by plush, blue velvet furniture. Unlike some other luxury brand stores I’ve visited in the past, I love that the boutiques has such a cozy, inviting feel.
The in-store experience is unrivaled and truly personalized and the inviting surrounding is the perfect backdrop for all the luggage, bags, and leather pieces that are tastefully displayed in various glass cases, shelves, and fixtures throughout. I was able to touch and feel the various bags and materials as well as get a detailed look at the craftsmanship, compare different color ways of Moreau’s iconic printed leather, and check out some of the many personalization options available. Aside from the ability to get a bag painted with initials, stripes, or other custom art, Moreau allows customers the ability to design a complete custom piece – choosing various leathers (ex: colored handles, printed leather sides, and contrasting colors on the font, interior, and bottom) and hardware!
For anyone just meeting the Moreau-Paris brand, I’d love to share a little bit that I learned about the company while visiting the San Franciso store…
Moreau dates its beginning back to 1882 when the brand was established in Paris, France as a manufacturer of luxury leather goods, accessories and travel trunks. Inspired by the natural pattern of wicker suitcases and baskets, the brand created a graphic print that mimicked woven wicker with minimalistic lines. The iconic Moreau pattern was printed on leather and canvas suitcases and remained a statement for the brand’s pieces till the beginning of the 20th century when the company closed.
In 2011, the House Rovnoff revived the brand by launching a new, limited-edition collection of luggage and handbags under the brand name Moreau-Paris. Fedor George Savchenko (who previously worked for Goyard) was named Creative Director and paved the way for the recreation of the Moreau brand, its iconic and unrivaled bags and other leather products. With the opening of the first boutique in Paris in October 2012 came a distinctive line of handbags designed by Savchenko. Entirely handmade in Moreau’s luxurious saddlery, the collection is as function as it is striking.
Similar to the techniques employed when the company first started, each Moreau-Paris bag follows in the tradition of trunk-making both in superb craftsmanship and in the high-quality materials used. Clean lines, minimal hardware, distinctive details (the “M” sticking on the bag handles is my favorite touch), and statement colors have become the brand’s calling card along with the iconic woven pattern. With the relaunch of the Moreau brand, the unique print remind as an essential part of the company’s heritage and was reproduced on calfskin with a traditional screen print technique that uses a semi-manual application of painting, allowing a deeper print result. After the print is applied, the skins are special treated to make them both extremely resistant but able to develop a patina over time that is unique to the brand. Though the natural calfskin was been printed and treated, it can easily tolerate additional printing and painting techniques and the brand specialized in customizing initials, stripes, and other made-to-order personalization.
Molly and I have both completely fallen for Moreau-Paris. Both of us really appreciate that the heritage brand is somewhat exclusive and not overly saturated in the fashion industry – making each piece feel that much more special and unique – and that they have a distinctly modern aesthetic combined with handcrafted techniques. In terms of quality (and comparing to some other printed leather bags I own) I have to say that there’s really no comparison for the beautiful craftsmanship. The leather is as sturdy as it is beautiful and I can understand why the brand presents them as heirloom pieces that can be passed from generation to generation.
If you happen to be living in San Francisco or are planning a visit there, you absolutely MUST stop by the Moreau-Paris flagship (345 Powell Street). Every associate in the store was so warm and wonderful and their excitement and love for the brand made me feel so comfortable…experiencing a luxury brand in such an inviting atmosphere can be a rarity and it made me all the more excited to place my own personal order. I could never have made such a decision without the help of the amazing associates (special shout out to Graciela who is an angel!) and getting to see all the options in person. Stay tuned: Christmas is coming early for me and Molly and we can’t wait to share the Moreau bags we fell in love with!