Longchamp x Shayne Oliver: Breaking an icon out of its shell
Re-designing purpose, form and function
In the social media age where collaborations, ventures, trends and products constantly inundate the connected individual throughout the day, we tend to see a lot but yet, absorb very little. We filter out the indistinguishable and crave disruption, the latter embodied by a Shayne Oliver Longchamp collection today.
Known for his Hood By Air label and work at Helmut Lang, Oliver's collaboration is part of a larger series that sees him guest designing at notable brands. At Longchamp, he re-examines the blueprint of its signature, the Le Pliage, adding facets of functionality to the travel bag's core proposition of being lightweight, foldable, and portable.
Its fruits include: the Le Pliage morphing into fully functional sleeves of a bomber jacket (slide 2 and 4 above), transforming into a "double" bag conjoined at the base (slide 3), spawning elongated handles for a fresh look (slide 5), and lending its design element to garments — as seen in the travel bag's handle gracing the neckline of a T-shirt. In addition to the above, the collaboration is to also include a "sling" bag, garment bag, and footwear.
Coloured with Oliver's graphical MO where the words 'Realness' and 'Hiatus' are recurring motifs, the designer talks through their meaning below, as well as the Le Pliage's new form and purpose.
What do the graphics symbolise?
Shayne Oliver (SO): Hiatus means 'a gap' or 'a break'. The Hiatus logo relates to the period when [Longchamp and I] began working on this collaboration. At the time it was very important that I took a break, so I feel like it was a great way of speaking about what was going on in my life — about needing to take a hiatus from what I was working on and focusing on where I was heading, which is this new project 'by Shayne Oliver'. [It is] a series of collaborations with brands that have great heritage and renowned craftsmanship, and putting my own spin on it.
This capsule collection brings some interesting styles — what inspired them?
SO: The collection is made to be used in multiple different ways; it is multipurpose. This multi-functionality is how I like to live my life in general and so I tried to make that a part of this.
ON THE SLING BAG
"For one, a lot of things that were happening to me at the time involved healing, including being physically injured. We used the idea of an arm sling — the sling you use when you are healing yourself — and turned it into a bag that can still be used both ways."
ON THE DOUBLE LE PLIAGE
"This came from the idea of having a bag that was more personal, and another bag that was more business. You know which side you are using by the graphic on the front. The Hiatus side is meant for having fun and the other is more business. I was trying to make the Le Pliage consistent with this idea of the new world."
ON THE T-SHIRT
"We introduced a T-shirt style for the collaboration that speaks to the usage of the Longchamp graphic. I felt like it was important for that to be printed on a T-shirt as part of this new aesthetic for the collaboration. We then added the handles from the iconic Le Pliage so it is branded in a way that mixes the new idea of branding and the old idea of branding."
The Q&A with Shayne Oliver was provided by Longchamp.
Longchamp by Shayne Oliver will retail at Longchamp at The Paragon in Singapore from 11 - 31 May.