faure le page

[dropcap size=small]W[/dropcap]hile many luxury brands make their presence felt by having a store in every major city, French label Faure le Page (pronounced fo-ray-le-pahj) takes a different approach.

The historic handbag and accessories label, which is more than 300 years old, will be opening its first store in South-east Asia in Singapore in June.

The store – only the brand’s ninth outlet in the world – will be located at Takashimaya Shopping Centre.

The brand has always taken it slow, opening its first boutique on Paris’ Rue Cambon only in 2012 and then expanding to Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Artistic director Augustin de Buffevent, 44, tells The Straits Times that the label is in no rush to have a legion of stores.

“If you are absolutely everywhere, then it is difficult to pretend that you are exclusive. Faure le Page is a 300-year-old company, so we don’t sprint.”

The beginnings of Faure le Page, originally a master gunsmith and firearms manufacturer for royalty, go all the way back to 1717 when King Louis XV reigned.

In 2009, the label stepped into the world of luxury goods, launching their iconic monogrammed tote bags and leather handbags that feature pistol-shaped side pockets – a reference to the brand’s heritage.

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Prices for small leather goods start at $390, while the label’s classic Daily Battle tote bags start at $1,490.

In the last decade, the label has gained cult status among fashion insiders. Besides having famous fans such as fashion designer Nicky Hilton and South Korean singer-actress Uee, the label is also often seen on the arms of Milan and New York Fashion Week attendees.

On opening a store in Singapore, Mr de Buffevent says he was “seduced” by the country.

“I think Singaporeans are so refined and they know so much about luxury that I think the creativity of the brand will be understood here.”

The boutique – brought in by home-grown retailer F J Benjamin – will have a garden concept with lush greenery and florals inspired by Singapore’s garden city image.

Each Faure Le Page store is unique in its design and conceptualised by Mr de Buffevent, who has been with the company since 2011. For example, the store in Seoul is modelled after a dining room.

“We want to have different kinds of stores all over the world to create a unique experience in each,” he says.

The Singapore boutique will also be the first to pre-launch a special collection of bags and accessories. Specially designed for the Singapore market, it includes the Boum Box clutches in alligator and python skin as well as personalised medallions for those who want to customise their bags.

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F J Benjamin Group’s chief operating officer Douglas Benjamin says he is confident that customers in Singapore and the rest of the region will fall in love with Faure le Page.

Mr de Buffevent adds: “We were seduced by Singapore so I feel it is high time for us to come and seduce Singaporeans as well.”

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This article was originally published in The Straits Times.

Photo: Faure le Page