It was in the heart of the capital on Boulevard Poissonnière that one of the most extra ordinary ventures in leathergoods began. In the 1940’s Jean Cassegrain, son of a tobacconist took over his father’s tobacco shop: at the time ‘Au Sultan’ as it was called was greatly appreciated by Parisians and the Allied Forces. But when the troops left Paris the shop faced the question of what to do with its stocks of pipes so appreciated by the soldiers? Moving on, Jean Cassegrain decided to concentrate on leather coatings for cigarette cases. And, as a talented observer, he came up with a very inspired idea…
Birth of the legendary leather-bound pipe
He sought out the most talented leather craftsmen in Paris and revolutionized the domain of tobacco accessories: he created the famous leather bound pipe clearly establishing its pedigree and gained his entry into the world of luxury goods with this future iconic object. In 1948, he expanded his collection and decided to set up his company specialized in accessories which he named Jean Cassegrain & Compagnie. Business flourished: the Parisian high society raced to get their own high-quality accessory, whether leather bound, laquered, or even personalized, like the Lady Pipe, created for spirited women with the makings of George Sand.
A Cassegrain signed Longchamp
Jean Cassegrain’s leather-bound pipes all bore the Longchamp stamp from the onset. This was because the name « Cassegrain » had already been used commercially by one of his cousins, based in Orléans: the brand name was associated with the image of a mill (in reference to “casse-grain”, meaning ‘crush-grain’). In Jean Cassegrain’s mind, this image of a miller was immediately associated with one of the last Parisian mills, situated at the end of the Longchamp race course. As the equestrian world is naturally linked to know-how and leather-binding in saddlery, the name Longchamp jumped out as the pertinent choice.
An equestrian seal
All that remained to do was to create the legendary signature of the fashion accessory house. Jean Cassegrain asked the illustrator Turenne Chevallereau to design an equestrian logo for an epic brand. Chevallereau drew a horse taking flight, imaginary and poetic. The emblem has been with the brand ever since.