Thursday, 13 September 2012

Maison Moynat.

Acquired by the Arnault Group (the private holding company of Bernard Arnault), the famous trunk-maker Moynat is rising from the ashes. Founded in 1849, the luxurious House accompanied all the very first innovations of the automobile industry and the advent of incredible transportation, with its curved made-to-measure trunks becoming synonymous with the finest saloons at the turn of the last century. Here we revisit a true legend, now reclaiming its place on the très parisienne rue Saint-Honoré.

Moynat is the story of a trunk-maker reborn as a posthumous work, and brought up to date by the pen of writer-designer, Ramesh Nair (who honed his talent at Hermès before joining Moynat). It is the story of a forgotten tradition that has found, a century later, a burst of modernity: for the real classics are timeless, yet underpin a renewal of creativity. They aspire to be revisited and rethought, as they are the product of aesthete inventors. Pauline Moynat was a perfectionist and attentive to the smallest detail, playful in her desire to create “the most beautiful luggage” of her time. And she has been winning this bet since the middle of the nineteenth century.

In its conception, the House assumed a style that would distinguish it from all other malletiers at the beginning of the twentieth century. Moynat developed a curved and sinuous profile in order for their trunks to fit the car’s form as closely as possible. Custom tailored to each vehicle (including color), the trunks rivaled all new forms, often patented. “By 1907, the catalog already contained 170 models,” explains Guillaume Davin, the director of the brand. “Here, the art of living is manifested in every domain. Thus, a trunk footrest may contain a top hat or a mobile cabinet-buffet, comparable to the need for a sophisticated picnic with a stove, cutlery and placemats.” Always looking forward, like the course of automobiles that it follows very closely, the House collected awards at World Fairs, scooping up 14 medals and garnering – at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in 1925 – the diploma of honor for a famous red studded trunk designed by Henri Rapin.

In the wake of its decorated past, Moynat brims today with unconventional luxury. The wallets are lined with leather interior slots – could it get more purist? Even some of the bags are so impeccably executed that they provide the luxury of being reversible! Not to mention, they can be found in exotic skins closely encasing the soft curves of the bags taken from limousine trunks. The color palette is bewitching in its perfection – tan, taupe, crimson, midnight blue, jet-black, dove gray – while the clasps are divinely sonorous, clicking never without echoing the sound of their beautiful mechanics.

Shown in a new setting designed by Gwenaël Nicolas, a French designer living in Japan, the accessories are surrounded by a luminous aura.  Seen from either near or far, they command all attention without fail, remaining some of the most beautiful objects in the world of travel…

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