Au Départ Collaborates with V Magazine on Exclusive Magazine Slip

Au Départ Collaborates with V Magazine on Exclusive Magazine Slip

Au Départ Collaborates with V Magazine on Exclusive Magazine Slip

V spoke with the Maison's CEO Gianfranco Maccarrone on the brand's grand revival.

V spoke with the Maison's CEO Gianfranco Maccarrone on the brand's grand revival.

Photography: Maksim Axelrod

Text: Dylan Kelly

V Magazine partnered with legendary accessories label Au Départ to produce a one-of-a-kind, magazine slip, ideal for carrying a copy of our latest issue on-the-go or for your laptop. Adorned in the luxury trunk maker’s signature monogram pattern, this sleek collaboration boasts the merging of two entirely different sectors of the fashion world. “We loved the idea of creating an accessory that contains fashion,” CEO Gianfranco Maccarrone told V. “We like to say that we create objects that contain dreams. From our trunks to our bags, you just open them and let your fantasies go high; the same when you open V Magazine and dream about the perfect moment to wear the perfect outfit.” 

Au Départ ceased operations back in 1976; however, with his elevated taste, Maccarrone took it upon himself to relaunch the high-fashion accessories label in April of last year. Now, the revivalist is re-introducing the Maison’s luxury designs in a revamped, contemporary new light--turning the iconic trunk into an interiors design piece and connecting with younger generations through music and gaming inspirations. V spoke with Au Départ’s Gianfranco Maccarrone to talk about the brand’s past, present, and future. 

Read the full interview, below.

V Magazine: Could you give us a brief history of Au Départ?

Gianfranco Maccarrone: The brand was founded in 1834, an era of legendary travelers, great explorations and huge development of rail transport. Originally, Au Départ manufactured luggage and travel wear. The company owes its name to the location of its first store opened in 1847, which was situated across the street from the just-opened Gare du Nord in Paris.

In 1871, the company was taken over by the brothers Ernest and Paul Bertin. Three years later, in 1874, they opened a second store on Avenue de l’Opéra, the soon-to-be heart of elegance in Paris. Business continued to grow thanks to a series of inventions and patents to manufacture trunks and to waterproof materials. Success reached its peak in the 1920s, when Au Départ became synonym with style and luxury. In 1965, Moynat and Au Départ formally merged and from then on, the business traded under the double name "Moynat Au Départ". The maison closed in 1976, but its trunks continued to travel around the world.

V: What inspired you to revive the company after it had ceased production in 1976? How did it happen?

GM: When I was approached to run this project, I felt involved from the first moment. It was about the rebirth of a brand that had ceased its activities the same year in which I was born, 1976, and on a personal level, it meant a new professional revival, a new challenge that is what motivates me the most.

Then, I was seduced by the codes of this house, its 3D effect monogram in coated canvas, its futuristic logo and all its slogans founded in the campaign designed in the 20s by Monsieur Dyl, like “a bon voyage commence Au Départ” [a beautiful journey begins at the departure].

V: Can you tell us a little bit about the pieces and aesthetic of Au Départ? How has the aesthetic and design evolved since the brand’s comeback? 

GM: Au Départ was relaunched in April 2019, during Milan Design Week, re-introducing the brand in its new life, reinterpreting the trunks as interior design pieces with a much more contemporary approach as per the new “Music and Games” collection. A mix of heritage and modernity where history meets technology: music is the modern way to communicate, games have always been and will always be a place to connect through generations.

Then, in September 2019, we presented in our Parisian Maison the first Bags Collection. The new line of bags takes inspiration from Au Départ’s heritage monogram presented on the traditional coated cotton canvas, an exact step by step recreation of the original Au Départ signature fabric, as well as on a modernized iridescent silver jacquard with a distinctive 3-dimensional wave effect that find its best expression in the Black Box Room, a place where heritage meets with the new ultra-mystery cult brand.

V: Does traditional Au Départ play a role in new concepts?

GM: Absolutely, I always say we are not inventing a new “It” bag that didn’t exist before. We’re respecting the codes and the heritage of the brand, focusing on luxury and innovative materials that make the brand contemporary. Even the logo of the brand designed around the 20s by the artist Yan Bernard Dyl in the Futuristic Era it’s still today absolutely contemporary.

V: Could you tell us about the V Magazine slip X Au Depart Collab?

GM: We loved the idea of creating an accessory that contains fashion. V Magazine represents one of the most iconic worldwide fashion magazines, and we like to say that we create objects that contain dreams. From our trunks to our bags, you just open them and let your fantasies go high; the same when you open V Magazine and dream about the perfect moment to wear the perfect outfit.

V: What are some of the inspirations behind the design?

GM: The design team is looking to position the brand in a cultural and sophisticated world where literature meets art, architecture and design and where music and video games talk to the new generation.

V: What inspired the design of the magazine slip?

GM: The magazine slip was inspired by utility and durability. In our essence lays the concept of ultra-luxury that perdures in time and that can be passed by generations or can be turned into a collectible piece. This is why we wanted to create the most contemporary envelope for one of the coolest magazines, but at the same time, a piece that could be the perfect laptop or iPad slip or document holder for daily usage.

 V: What kind of materials were used?

GM: The material used for the magazine slip is our most innovative material, the black reflective monogram Jacquard rimmed with the finest black leather which makes the slip a true unique and sophisticated piece.

V: Can you tell us about any future projects?

GM: Our main projects right now are focused on the creation of the new codes of the brand approaching distribution in an innovative way, presenting the products through the most important international wholesalers such us Jeffrey New York, The Webster Miami and L.A., Antonia Milan, LuisaViaRoma Florence, Harrods, Beymen Istanbul, Lane Crawford Hong Kong, etc., just to name a few, together with our new retail exhibition spaces done in Mazzoleni Art Gallery in London or Nomad Circle in St. Moritz.

The most important projects are yet to come, we are working on them, it’s going to be in Paris, we will communicate very soon.

V Magazine x Au Depart Magazine slip is now available to purchase for $300 exclusively at VMagazine.com.

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