Q&A WITH SOPHIE HUNT FROM HUNT LEATHER
- Hunt Leather has been responsible for satiating our Longchamp fix for years now. What is it about this French leather goods brand that makes it so cult?
French elegance and creativity, innovation and savoir faire! Longchamp is an amazing family company, with deep knowhow and craftsmanship at the base of everything they make; combining superb quality with lightweight construction. They’re an artistic family, and creative, with the third generation of the family in charge of all sides of the business. Sophie Delafontaine, the founder’s granddaughter, is the Artistic Director, and a style icon herself. I believe this amazing family’s passion is evident in their beautiful products, and that is why they are about to celebrate their 70th anniversary in 2018.
- Longchamp is a brand with deep Parisian roots. What do you the love most about this enduring French sensibility?
It’s an interesting question because we have discussed this at length on our last trip to Paris for the buying meetings. Longchamp is a global brand, but they are Parisian at heart, and that effortless style is what we love; not too serious, somewhat audacious, insouciant, artistic, bold at times, elegant always. It’s not about fads or gimmicks.
- As with all labels curated by Hunt Leather, craftsmanship is key. What are the other qualities we should look for when buying the perfect bag?
Firstly, consider where and how you would like to wear the bag, how it makes you feel, and if you love it! Of course, we also must consider the form, whether it will carry your laptop or your tablet or just your keys and phone, whether you like to wear it across or carry in the hand, or on your back. Backpacks are still a thing, but we are seeing many women downsize to small cross body bags, leaving the big tote in the car or at the office when they go out for lunch. Consider the weight of the bag; Longchamp is incredibly light weight, even in their structured leather pieces, and this can make all the difference when you’re walking miles through an airport.
- Share some of your style mantras with us.
I’ve learned from my mother to buy better, and buy less – it’s not just about sustainability, quality is also a better investment in the long run! I have also learned, finally, not to succumb to a trend, nor to consider something unless I do actually love it. William Morris said “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” and I think it’s equally applicable to fashion.
- Your role sees you jet-setting around the world to source for the finest leather goods. Name your favourite places to travel to and why?
We’re always in Florence and Paris, so they are very dear to my heart; we never have much spare time but we have our favourite little places for coffee and shopping, and are always discovering something new in our trips there, whether at an art exhibition or a tiny little store. But for myself, the wilds of the world are most appealing – I love to sail, so anywhere for a sailing trip is top of my list, and hike, so we’re off to Tasmania with our girls to do the Three Capes Track on our next holidays, and I can’t wait.
- What are your top tips when it comes to caring for your leather goods.
Seriously good leather goods should need little care. We do have issues with humidity over here in Sydney, so storing your bags with paper stuffing and in a well-aired place is a good idea. Be careful of scuffs and pen marks, they’re the worst. A little cream for your leather goods when they get dry; but always be sure to check with the maker as the tanning and leather treatments vary so much.
- Who is your style muse?
My mother, Elizabeth Hunt, who founded Hunt Leather with my father. She’s incredible, so stylish, always perfectly accessorized, but unexpected, bold and audacious! Style is not about age or money.
- What’s in your Longchamp?
Too much! I have my beloved Macbook Pro, iPhone 7 Plus, chargers, a Longchamp personalised pouch, a Hunt wallet, a Troubadour notebook, and plenty of bandaids for emergencies (I have three children!). I’ve had my Longchamp Pliage Heritage now for nearly two years, overstuffed it regularly, dragged it around the world several times, it’s been under plane seats, in the overheads, on boats, and it still hasn’t got a mark on it.