Celebrating The Icons with Moynat Paris, in London >>> (& Pharrell’s Train)

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From the first time I stepped into Moynat on rue Saint Honoré last month, it’s been a rather swift love affair. An iconic luggage brand that was founded in 1849 during the great era of rail travel and the creation of the French railway network. The first workshop set up at 13 rue Capron in Paris. The house received their first patent for a waterproof canvas in 1854, ensuring their trunks were completely watertight.

The first boutique opened in 1869, and a line of ladies’ handbags and “sacs mignons” with chamois linings were created by Pauline Moynat. During the early 1900’s the first Limousine Trunk was created with a concave bottom that closely follows the rounded hood of the car, an iconic design detail still maintained in their current collections. Collaborations with the Paris Automobile Show followed catapulting the brand into cult status amongst the elite.

Decades on, Moynat began the initialled canvas design introduced by Henri Rapin, a pattern of repeating M’s which was to become the elegant signature style of the house, (you can see some of these incredible trunks at both stores).

Fast forward to 2011, and Moynat re-opened its doors at 348 rue Saint Honoré with Ramesh Nair at the creative helm. During my spontaneous stroll into Moynat last month I met with Ramesh and Janie the Marketing & Comms Director and just FELL IN LOVE with Moynat. The construction and craftsmanship of each piece, the design history, and the collaborations the house undertakes. Just a wonderful brand that I have taken to wanting to know more!

On a rainy Thursday evening in London, Guillaume Davn, Directeur Général and Ramesh Nair, Directeur Artistique celebrated the icons of Moynat with a surprise visit from the collaborator of the moment, Pharrell Williams (FYI he practically floated into the room un-noticed).

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The Train Clutch above

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So the story of this unlikely collaboration? During his visit to the Moynat atelier in Paris last October, Pharrell Williams, intrigued by the collection of vintage trunks,  discovered an old Moynat label featuring a train. It reminded him of the classic 1940s musical movie, The Harvey Girls.

Coincidently, Ramesh Nair, the artistic director of Moynat, also had trains on his mind, as he had been listening to Jimi Hendrix’s Hear My Train A Comin’. They immediately took it as a sign that their collaboration was meant to be.

“All grown-ups were once children… but only a few remember it.” Ramesh said.

The train represents the inner child that sleeps in every heart. The Moynat x Pharrell Williams collection therefore includes a ‘Train Bag’ in hand tooled resin (as above) and a ‘Train Clutch’ in hand sculpted Ebony wood (below). The equally beautiful ‘Train Pochette’ below is available in seven color variations featuring a toy train in Taurillon-gex leather applied by the traditional marquetry craftsmanship. So no, that’s not a screen printed train. It’s quite clever.

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A little Moynat craft station downstairs at their Mount Street store…

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Wouldn’t my LWSY look rather fabulous in this type?

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Meet La Malle Macaron. This Macaron trunk showcases a perfect harmony between French gastronomy and fine French trunk-making. In his signature Framboise leather, it’s no surprise that this piece was commissioned by Pierre Hermé.

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Thank you Moynat & Starworks for a lovely evening…

Moynat, 112 Mount Street, London, W1K 2TU

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