Fauré Le Page, armorer to 18th and 19th century French royals, nobles and revolutionaries, is the latest entry—and one of the best—in the race to resurrect ancient pedigreed French companies and elevate them to 21st-century luxury status. Like well-known 19th-century luggage-makers Goyard and Moynat, whose prestige bags vaunt their historic legacies, Fauré Le Page’s distinctive bags and maroquinerie (small leather goods) reflect the firm’s unique place in French history. Founded in 1717, the company lasted through seven generations over more than 200 years, and was once considered France’s firearms manufacturer par excellence. Commissioned by French kings starting with Louis XV, the company also supplied Napoleons I and III as well as the Italian and Russian aristocracy.
The new Fauré Le Page boutique, just off the rue Saint Honoré (where both Goyard and Moynat are also found), winks rather than genuflects at its illustrious past: display tables rest on armored legs, handbags are suspended from armor gauntlets or shown with becoming chain-mail dresses. The leather goods and signature linen-and-leather totes are displayed alongside real antique pistolets. While humor and whimsy may elevate Le Page from the rest of the bunch, the company is dead serious about quality; everything from adorable dog collars and leashes to a gorgeous metal-and-crocodile clutch bag is handmade with meticulous care. Hunting chairs and flasks, a superb shopping cart and pistol-shaped pochettes in three sizes make great gifts for sporty folks and/or lovers of French luxury and history.
21 rue Cambon,
Originally published in the February 2013 issue of France Today