If Hermes’ continually increasing profitability and Louis Vuitton’s recent shift toward capitalizing on its history with more high-end, all-leather products is any indication, the ultra-high-end leather goods market seems to have a nearly infinite hunger for heritage goods, and French heritage in particular. To help meet that voracious need for fancy purses, 19th century French leather brand Moreau has relaunched and its bags are exclusive to Barneys in the US.
French design and craftsmanship have always been markers of quality and status in fashion, and that’s why those brands are having such a moment right now. Not only are high-end western costumers constantly looking for something more special, limited and expensive than those behind them who are looking to keep up with the Joneses, but consumers in the burgeoning Asian markets seek out heritage goods as de facto indicators of their newly high social status. Because those Asian markets have become sophisticated more quickly than most, a flashy logo bag won’t do the trick; consumers are increasingly looking for pieces that are exclusive, handmade and include a sense of history on their price tags.
That’s where Moreau comes in. Originally founded in the mid-1800s in France, the brand has been revived, at least in part, to capitalize on its origin story. (There is, after all, only so much heritage to go around. It’s a non-renewable resource.) The brand’s limited, rather simple collection of bags will all be made in France, by hand, in Moreau’s saddlery. The look, as you might expect, recalls some of Hermes’ basics, but in a good way – classic, functional styles that whisper about their pedigree instead of shouting. If you’re the kind of woman whose friends’ closet are already full of Hermes and you want to pick up something new that they’ll actually ask about with curiosity, perhaps one of these Moreau bags is for you.