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Moreau Paris at Univers: French luxury leather goods maker rediscovered

Tradition of unparalleled craftmanship dating back to Napoleon returns to Manila

There are few arbiters of French luxury, and among them are the artisans behind its storied trunkmaking and leather goods tradition. Known for its exceptional construction and unrivaled sophistication, French luggage has become an icon, from being a practical voyage companion to a signifier of taste and affluence.

One of these is the French luxury leather goods label Moreau Paris, which traces its roots to the Napoleonic era. It was born in the workshop of the prolific French silversmith and malletier or trunkmaker Martin-Guillaume Biennais, whose clientele included Napoleon I, among other European royalty. Biennais soon became synonymous with luxury leather goods prized for craftsmanship and impeccability.

Its flagship store at 49 rue Saint-Honoré opened in 1882, creating hand-crafted luggage and bags that were sought after by the elite. Moreau would later be known for its distinctive geometric pattern reminiscent of intertwined wicker stems and basketry that was all the rage in the late 19th century, until it was discontinued in the 20th century. Today, Moreau’s iconic and instantly recognizable pattern is printed on calf leather using a semi-manual painting technique resulting in vibrant and deep colors.

More than just paying homage to a historic luggage silhouette, the Maison took that intertwined pattern and ultimately created timeless, utilitarian, and well-crafted pieces that are a testament to its mastery of and eye for innovation.

Moreau brings to Manila its tradition and excellence in trunkmaking with leather goods that evoke the romanticism of travel. It is now available at homme et femme 8 Rockwell and at UNIVERS Greenbelt 3.

Over a century after the Maison’s inception, Moreau’s exquisite leather goods returned to the spotlight after the discovery of a trunk that belonged to the French industrialist and politician Robert Bellanger in a Paris flea market in 2011. It bore the house’s signature printed wicker pattern, and despite the patina from use, showed the integrity of the luggage, a characteristic that continues to define Moreau’s mastery of the craft.

Bellanger was also the last resident of the historic military site Fort Brégançon in Bormes-les-Mimosas, after which Moreau’s reversible tote bag Brégançon was named as a tribute to its notable patron.

The hand-stitched carry-all luxury tote is made of calfskin and lined with bullskin leather. It also comes with retractable handles and a removable pouch with two compartments. The Brégançon’s timeless silhouette makes it the perfect everyday companion you can carry anywhere and store your everyday essentials in.

The Brégançon comes in three sizes: MM (31x38x17cm), PM (28x35x14cm), and mini (24x25x7cm).

True to Moreau’s free-spirited love for travel, the Maison dubbed one of its pieces the Saint Tropez after the coastal commune on the French Riviera known for its idyllic views. An ode to the allure of the azure waters of the Mediterranean, the Moreau is savoir-faire immortalized in sustainable materials.

The tote bag crafted in the signature Moreaunette with calfskin details has ample space for things you can’t live without. A fitting accessory for adventurous souls, it also features an internal waterproof pocket, a yacht-inspired chain closure, and long handles with hand-stitched details.

The Saint Tropez is available in three sizes: GM (55x33x21cm), MM (44x28x16cm), and PM (cm).

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