If you are in the market for an under-the-radar, discreet yet luxurious handbag, you are probably already familiar with these three names: Delvaux, Moynat and Fauré Le Page. If so, they might not be as under-the-radar as you think. Here I would like to share some less known information about them, and how these hibernated heritage designers are capital market’s secret weapons to hedge against the volatility of the premium leather goods market.
1. Past and Present
All three companies were brought to life again in the beginning of 2010s, when coincidently, the popularity of the "It Bag" was reported to be in decline and luxury leather goods market reported to sustain a yawning fatigue.
Fauré Le Page, private, firearms manufacturer, founded 1717 in Paris. Acquired by former EVP USA of Dior, Augustin de Buffevent in 2011. Fauré Le Page works with ateliers in Spain, Italy and France.
Moynat, private, trunk maker, founded 1849 in Paris. Acquired by Groupe Arnault, LVMH's CEO Bernard Arnault's holding company in 2010. Moynat’s atelier is based in France.
Delvaux, private, luxury leather goods maker founded 1829 in Brussels, Belgium. First Heritage Brands, the investment arm of the Fung Group, took a majority stake in the company in 2011. Delvaux produces in both Belgium and France.
2. The Asia First Strategy
Fauré Le Page was relaunched in Paris 2012. By 2017, it has two outlets in Japan and one in Hong Kong.
Moynat holds 15 stores in Asia, three stores in Paris and two in London, one in US and one in Dubai.
Delvaux, not surprisingly with Asian investors behind its back, operates about 20 stores in Asia, eight stores in Belgium, and three in Paris. It was about to open its first US store end of 2018 in New York, followed with a debut store in Milan, Italy.
3. Quality and Authentication
I evaluate the quality of leather goods by raw material, tanning, stitching, construction and hardware. The below are purely my personal opinions based on my in-person observation of these designer handbags. To put things in context, let’s say if we give Hermès a 4.9 out of 5.0 rating for quality, then Louis Vuitton and Goyard would probably fall in the 4.5 and 4.7 range. I would give Delvaux a 4.7 especially for the consistency of quality in its full leather lining and sturdy construction. Moynat, would get a 4.5/4.6, on par with Louis Vuitton but not any better. Fauré Le Page, however, though often compared with and priced against Goyard, has a long way to go in overall construction and improving its hardware quality. I would give it a 4.0 at most.
Not so much has been written about authentication due to these designers’ limited circulation. However, given their overwhelming popularity in Asia, they are also on the top bucket list of the counterfeiters. Of a dozen of Fauré Le Page I’ve seen in person in the US, I came across more fake bags than real ones!
One bonus tip on date code - Fauré Le Page, Moynat and Delvaux currently do have their own date code systems. Moynat is the most consistent one while Delvaux and Fauré Le Page, may or may not have date code depending on the age, model and origin of the products.