Longchamp: A Luxury Brand in Leather Bags?

Longchamp Roseau Essential Hobo Bag Review by Tanner Leatherstein

In the realm of fashion, Longchamp stands as a prominent figure, recognized for its distinctive leather bags that have captured the attention of fashion enthusiasts worldwide. Among its array of offerings, the Pliage bag holds a significant position, often evoking thoughts of Longchamp's signature style. However, delving deeper into the essence of this French fashion house raises the question: What is its classification within the luxury sphere? 

DISCLAIMER: This is an UNSPONSORED review. I purchased all of these products myself and am not affiliated with the brand mentioned in any way. All statements and expressions made about the products are solely the opinion of Tanner Leatherstein and are not meant to be conclusive or definitive. The purpose of this video is for informational and educational purposes only. We recommend that as a consumer, you exercise your due diligence and research on the products before adopting the opinion of Tanner Leatherstein.

A Glimpse into the Past

Longchamp's journey began in 1948, under the visionary leadership of Jean Cassegrain, who inherited his father's humble tobacco shop in Paris. However, it was in 1950 that the brand truly made waves with the introduction of its first luxury leather-wrapped pipes. This innovative creation quickly captured the attention of aficionados worldwide, including notable figures like Elvis Presley. Building on this early success, Longchamp diversified its offerings, venturing into the realm of small leather goods such as wallets and travel accessories. By the late 1970s, the brand had taken a significant stride forward, unveiling its inaugural women's handbag collection.

Since then, Longchamp has continued to soar to new heights, carving out a formidable presence on the global stage. Their iconic La Pliage design, featuring a foldable nylon bag, has become a household name, synonymous with practicality and style. Despite their renowned status for the signature nylon bag, Longchamp has also garnered acclaim for their exceptional leather offerings—a pleasant surprise for discerning fashion enthusiasts. Notably, the brand remains a family-owned enterprise, with the third generation now at the helm. Impressively, Longchamp still upholds its heritage of craftsmanship by producing the majority of its products in its own workshops in France

Unraveling the Longchamp

Embarking on a journey to comprehend the intricacies of Longchamp's identity, I immersed myself in extensive research, visiting their stores, scrutinizing their products, and delving into the brand's rich history. Despite my efforts, I find myself grappling with the classification of Longchamp as a luxury brand. While its price points align with those of Coach and Kate Spade, the quality of its leathers and craftsmanship present a compelling argument in favor of its luxury status. The supple feel of their leathers and the attention to detail in their designs evoke a sense of refinement and sophistication that is synonymous with luxury. The intricate stitching and flawless finishing of their products further reinforce this notion, suggesting a commitment to excellence that is characteristic of high-end brands. However, the ambience of Longchamp's stores and the overall shopping experience leave something to be desired in terms of capturing the grandeur and exclusivity often associated with traditional luxury brands.

Despite the allure of its products, Longchamp's retail spaces lack the opulent atmosphere that one might expect from a luxury boutique. Furthermore, the shopping experience itself, while efficient and accommodating, may not offer the elevated service that discerning luxury consumers crave. 

Redefining Luxury

In today's world, the concept of luxury has evolved significantly, with many associating it primarily with exclusivity and high price tags, rather than focusing on the intrinsic quality of the products. However, I believe that true luxury goes beyond mere monetary value, encompassing elements such as superior materials, flawless design, and exceptional craftsmanship. While some may define luxury solely based on the notion of exclusivity and expense, this overlooks the fundamental importance of quality. Despite this prevalent trend, where brands prioritize price and exclusivity over substance, many consumers still regard these expensive brands as symbols of luxury.

Nevertheless, I hold the conviction that genuine luxury is rooted in the materials used, the design process, and the level of craftsmanship exhibited in a product, rather than solely relying on its price tag. With this in mind, does Longchamp excel across all dimensions when evaluating its offerings, thereby earning it a commendable reputation within the luxury sector? 

A Personal Encounter

Longchamp held a particular allure for me, prompting a visit to their store on Champs-Élysées in Paris. While the shopping experience leaned towards a sales-driven approach, the allure of their leather bags remained undeniable. Some designs exuded timeless elegance, while others fell short, hinting at rushed production. My curiosity peaked as I acquired a Roseau Essential S Hobo Bag in Suede, intending to dissect its quality and construction.

Deciphering the Leather

Upon closer inspection, the main body of the bag, crafted from suede leather, exuded a sense of refinement, albeit with inherent vulnerabilities. At first glance, it showcased above-average craftsmanship, with only minor imperfections such as cleaning mishaps on the thread ends detracting from its overall appeal. As we delved deeper into the bag, we discovered that the materials used inside exhibited a medium to above-medium level of quality. While not on par with high-end luxury products, they were more budget-friendly choices that didn't pose any significant issues from a construction or cleaning perspective.

Suede leather, known for its velvety texture and luxurious appearance, adds a touch of sophistication to the bag. However, its porous nature makes it prone to stains, requiring careful maintenance to preserve its pristine condition. The sheepskin lining, on the other hand, revealed a minimal finish pigment, indicative of a medium to above-medium level of quality. Despite these minor drawbacks, the varying grain of the leather showcased an above-average selection, contributing to the bag's overall appeal. Overall, considering the price point, the quality of materials and craftsmanship presented a satisfactory offering that met expectations. 

A Close Look at Longchamp's Hardware Selection

As I meticulously examined the construction of the Hobo bag, I observed the materials used, while of above-average quality, fell short of the pinnacle of luxury. However, the attention to detail in hardware selection, including the use of YKK zippers, reflected a commitment to quality.

Moreover, the hardware on the back exhibited a reassuring level of durability, crafted from a typical Zamac alloy with a fine coating. This hardware quality surpassed expectations for its price point, adding to the overall value of the bag. Additionally, the smooth functionality of the YKK zippers further underscored the brand's dedication to delivering a seamless user experience. Overall, the attention to detail in hardware selection demonstrated Longchamp's commitment to providing customers with a reliable and well-crafted product.

Evaluating Value

Analyzing the production costs and retail prices unveiled a symbiotic relationship between quality and affordability. My estimate for the cost of materials, including leather and hardware, amounts to approximately $45, with labor expenses factored in China. Considering this, the original price of $385 for the Hobo bag may initially seem steep. However, when considering the brand's French production and heritage, this price remains justifiable. Moreover, Longchamp's commitment to producing a significant portion of its bags in France underscores its dedication to quality.

In my examination, I couldn't find the same suede option on their website, with only full-grain leather available, which may be slightly more costly to produce. Nevertheless, I purchased the suede version at a discounted price of $225 in-store, which I find to be a very good value considering the estimated production cost.

My theory suggests that Longchamp's pricing strategy may be influenced by their French production, with a full-grain version of the bag likely costing between $70 and $75 to produce in France. This pricing approach aligns with the brand's ethos of offering value to customers while maintaining a reasonable price point.

It's worth noting that Longchamp's strategy involves a balance between producing bags in France and outsourcing production to China, aiming to optimize costs without compromising on quality. This approach ensures that the brand continues to offer a good value proposition to leather enthusiasts worldwide. Moreover, Longchamp's extensive network of physical stores enables customers to inspect the bags firsthand before making a purchase, further enhancing the overall shopping experience. As a result, I appreciate Longchamp's dedication to serving the leather community and offering accessible luxury without succumbing to the conventions of traditional Parisian luxury labels.


In conclusion, Longchamp excels across all dimensions when evaluating its offerings, thereby earning it a commendable reputation within the luxury sector. Longchamp epitomizes a nuanced blend of luxury and accessibility, catering to discerning consumers seeking quality without compromising on affordability. While its journey may deviate from the conventional trajectory of luxury brands, its unwavering commitment to craftsmanship and heritage merits recognition. As I reflect on my exploration of Longchamp, I am reminded that true luxury transcends price tags, resonating with those who value quality above all else. 


  • Gladys Lugo

    What happens with Longchamp. Collaborate with other designers. When I like about this is. There’s different people around the world. When you go to the LV store The same monogram. I love Longchamp

  • Mary

    Very disappointed the handle broke off.
    Le Pliage Xtra S Travel bag. It was a gift in only 1.5 years of using it this happened so I put it in the donation box. Hopefully someone could fix it & ise it again.

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