After beginning her career designing children’s luxury ready-to-wear for Bonpoint, Longchamp creative director Sophie Delafontaine joined the family business to bring her feminine eye to the heritage brand.
“As a woman working for women, I think about the design,” she said. “But at the same time, I am looking at the exact proportion to make you more confident and comfortable.”
This approach especially applies to the shoe business, which Delafontaine launched three seasons ago to complement Longchamp’s signature handbags, luggage and apparel.
“I wanted to finish our silhouette,” she explained. “And even though I love creating high heels, I will always make sure you can still walk nicely in them. Sometimes that means a slightly thicker heel or a small platform.”
For her fall ’16 collection, she fused her chic French eye with organic influences, which were abundant in a collection she describes as “urban natural.” “I was inspired by [projects that bring] nature back to the city,” Delafontaine said, citing influences such as the High Line in New York and the Skygarden in Seoul.
Here, the worldly Parisian designer, who just returned from Bangkok and Singapore with longtime Longchamp model Alexa Chung, shares a few recommendations for great style.
French Women Always Have: “Fresh flowers. My favorites are heirloom roses, which I have in my garden. I work as much as I can, but I really need time to recharge my batteries and escape. So I love gardening at my home in Versailles.”
My Signature Scent: “Eau d’Hadrien by Annick Goutal. It suits my personality. We’ve grown up together. I’ve worn it for more than 20 years.”
Travel Essential: “The Pliage bag. My father designed it because he traveled a lot when he was young and wanted something convenient and cool. The fact that you can fold it makes it the perfect piece for travel.”
Most Recent Page-Turner: “‘The Red Sari’ by Javier Moro. It’s about Gandi’s family. Every detail of their lives and the culture was beautifully explained.”
Favorite Look For Fall: “Boots with a pointed toe. It’s not too dressy, but casual and elegant combined. It completes the look.”
Our Best Brand Spokeswoman: “Alexa Chung really is a modern, international woman. She’s English but she lives in New York, has Chinese roots and travels all around the world working. She’s very multifaceted too, with her modeling, television, writing and fashion projects. She’s symbolizes all that is contemporary — a very Longchamp woman.”