L/UNIFORM

Could canvas be the new trend in high-end bags and luggage? If L/UNIFORM have their way, the answer is a resounding oui! This tiny, minimalist boutique opened in late April, on the newly fashion-focused Quay Malaquais, just a few minutes’ walk from the Musée d’Orsay.

Exhibited in pristine, backlit boxes which line the boutique’s walls, the canvas bags on offer vary in size and style – from dainty pencil cases and make-up pouches to dapper check-in luggage. They’re all glamorous, very stylish versions of the kind of sturdy, utilitarian canvas sacs produced by the likes of LL Bean, but in a beautiful, spot-cleanable cotton-linen blend.

The bags’ most distinguishing feature, besides their lightness, is the possibility for customisation. A range of five canvas colours – navy, black, beige, red and khaki – plus eight choices for the piping, in canvas or leather, make for a multitude of chic combinations. Add a monogram in one of ten colours and you can really make any bag your own. The larger, ‘carry-on’ styles would really stand out in, say, navy with pink or bright yellow piping.

The year-old bagage brand is based in the beautiful walled village of Carcassonne, in the Languedoc, where the bags are both made and customised at a special atelier. If a customised bag is special-ordered at the Paris boutique, the work takes two weeks as everything’s made-to-order.

Bear in mind that L/UNIFORM’s bags aren’t exported outside the Euro zone. A clerk advised that if you want a customised sac and are in Europe for a spell, for the fastest turnaround, you’re better off ordering via the website.

However, if you’re only in Paris for a short visit, don’t worry as the boutique stocks every bag in several colours– they’re all so functional and sleek you’ll want one of each.

Each of the bags has a ‘model number’ and my favourite is ‘No 37’, a replica of the adorable sacs which are essential for every Parisian school kid, with a fold-over top, a wide strap and leather buckles; and ‘No 7’, a well-proportioned, zip-fronted mini-backpack that’s perfect for a laptop and books. Consider these durable, wonderfully light and virtually indestructible bags as an investment in everyday style.

L/UNIFORM, 21 quai Malaquais, Paris 6th. Tel: +33 1 42 61 76 27.

From France Today magazine

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Jennifer Ladonne
American journalist Jennifer Ladonne, a Paris resident since 2004, writes regular features on French heritage, culture, travel, food & wine for France Today magazine, and is the restaurants and hotels reviewer for Fodor's Paris, France and Provence travel guides. Her articles have appeared in CNN Travel, AFAR, The Huffington Post, MSN and Business Insider.

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