A look into French luxury handbag and luggage maker Maison Moreau Paris and why I prefer this over Goyard, Louis Vuitton, Moynat, and Faure Le Page.
It was a year and a half ago when my husband and I stumbled upon the chic and stylish shop of Moreau Paris in the downtown streets of San Francisco.
I was actually looking for the Goyard boutique, only to be informed that they had moved and in its place is another French luxury label with a history from the 19th century.
I have never heard of it, but the line up of beautiful totes and bags, and the beautifully decorated store with the enticing color of dark turquoise (they refer to this as 'petrol blue') piqued my curiousity.
Inside I meet Graciela, the friendly store brand manager who gave us a warm welcome and happily answered all my inquiries.
Here's the gist on Moreau:
1. Monreau was established in year 1882 at the 283 rue Saint Honoré in Paris.
They started with luxury leather goods and then started creating travel luggage with a combination of leather and canvas with an iconic wicker interlaces print design. Some of their original designs can be seen here:
2. The proprietary Moreau print is extremely fascinating.
It is done on calfskin leather. The process they described as "a traditional screen print technique that uses a semi-manual application of painting, thus allowing a deeper print result. After the print is layed on, the skins are treated in order for the Moreau leather product to be extremely resistant and to develop over time with a patina that is unique to the brand."
3. Moreau bags are meant to last a very long time.
The craftsmanship is described by Moreau's artistic director Fedor Georges Savchenko, "When you use and carry a bag all day, potentially for several years, it almost becomes a friend. It should useful, and you shouldn’t have to worry about any aspect of it. We use time-tested techniques to replicate the same handles that were used on the trunks Moreau was making in the 19th century. They’re all hand-stitched and will last forever. Sometimes, after I’ve been carrying the same bag for years, I feel bad getting a new one because the old one is still in such great shape!" (resource: Barney's on Moreau)
4. Moreau is hand made in France in its own saddlery.
In his interview with Barney's, Fedor Georges Savchenko describes the reason why he feels this legacy is preserved by controlling the manufacturing in Moreau's birth place, "We’d like to preserve this craftsmanship in France by continuing to use the same techniques and processes that were used 100 years ago. We work with tanneries that have been using the same techniques since the 16th century, and that’s the kind of French heritage we want to embrace."
5. No two Moreau product are alike.
Each is absolutely unique due to the creation process. Apart from the hand-stitching, the leather is antiqued so that it can age beautifully over time 'to give each bag a unique patina of charm and authenticity.'
Furthermore, Moreau offers a customization process where you can select the type of leather, from Bull skin, Calf skin, or Moreau's printed leather. You can also select the color of your handle and the different hot stamps and embellishments they offer. Customization can be found here: https://moreau-paris.com/customize-bag?pid=53
6. In the U.S.A., Moreau has flagship stores in San Francisco, New York and Texas. But it can also be purchased exclusively at Barney's either online or in their department stores.
The Moreau Paris store can be found here: 49, RUE DU FAUBOURG SAINT HONORÉ 75008 PARIS
Handbag aficionados will easily compare the Moreau to other luxe Parisian brands such as:
Goyard (founded in 1853),
Moynat (founded in 1849),
Fauré Le Page (founded in 1717),
and Louis Vuitton (founded in 1854).
But Moreau has my vote because:
It is still an under-the-radar brand. Despite Moreau's rich luggage and bag history, the brand is still fairly unknown due to a revival that occurred in 2011. I find this anecdotal information puts them to an advantage because they exude mystery rather than mainstream luxe. The clammor of fashionistas and bagaholics for the Goyard Saint Louis PM, Fauré Le Page Daily Battle Tote, and the Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM/GM has made these designs too common and trendy. I prefer the antithesis of common luxe which I definitely find in the still mysterious Moreau Paris brand.
When looking at bags with similar design, such as the classic tote, I lean towards the chic style of the Moreau Paris Vincennes. The Vincennes has that printed leather design of that really lovely intertwined wicker. I find this a tad bit more captivating that the geometric prints of the other French labels. Adding to the overall classic structure of the Vicennes are the lovely design of the handles which are unmistakably a signature feature of Moreau Paris. The added interior pocket or pochette attachment add to the overall pizzaz. I personally find the Goyard quite flimsy. The only contenders would be the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, Moynat Oh Tote, and the Fauré Le Page Daily Battle
The Moreau handles are the only ones designed to slide down. This makes it easy to maintain the bag, particularly when you need to travel and pack it away in a suitcase. You do not need to worry if the handles will be crushed or wrinkled. Curious to what I mean? Do catch this demonstration on the videos below.
A big plus factor is the option to customize your own Moreau Paris bag and the price point for customization is not exhorbitant. Louis Vuitton finally offers this but sometimes you wonder if the customization they charge should have just gone to purchasing another handbag.
With Moreau having a stealth luxury brand recognition, combined with its ability to customize each bag from the leather material, combination of patterns, and use of color, and more importantly the traditional-passed down techniques of creating each bag in a controlled environment in its three ateliers in central France, there is an unlikelihood for counterfeiters to create the bag, which is one of the prevailing issues of some of the luxury French brands.
A Gallery of Maison Moreau Paris:
Into Sustainable Shopping?
Buying pre-loved is a lot more common than it was before.
There are a plethora of used market platforms, from the classic Ebay, to the new Poshmark, Tradesy, Vestiaire Collective, Facebook Groups, and many more.
Do check them out and you might be able to get a steal of a deal from a handbag in excellent condition at a much discounted price!