Philippe Cassegrain (Photo: Longchamp)

Philippe Cassegrain has died at age 83 due to Covid-19 complications. He dedicated his life and energy to Longchamp for the last 60 years and embodied all the values of the House — sincerity, dynamism, optimism and particularly “creative curiosity”.

Cassegrain started working with his father at age 16, travelling across the world — Africa, Asia and the United States — with a suitcase containing Longchamp samples.

“My mission was to meet with my father’s contacts, I was curious about everything,” he once said.

In 1972, Cassegrain created the first travel bags with nylon and leather and deployed the brand in Asia. With the support of his spouse Michèle Cassegrain, he also initiated a new era with the development of feminine handbags in the 1980s.

The iconic Le Pliage bag was created by him in 1993 and is now a timeless style around the world.

Cassegrain’s eldest son, Jean is the CEO; his daughter, Sophie Delafontaine, the creative director, and his younger son, Olivier, leads the brand’s development of American boutiques. Two of his grandsons also joined the company: Adrien Cassegrain as Transformation Director and Hector Cassegrain as UK General Manager.