Ahead of the opening of French luxury label Fauré Le Page in Singapore, Artistic Director Augustin de Buffévent talks about the importance of dialogue and the art of modernising heritage.
Augustin de Buffévent, the Artistic Director of Fauré Le Page
At Fauré Le Page, time is the best storyteller. “We have a relation to time which is very different,” observed Augustin de Buffévent, the brand’s Artistic Director. Its history, for starters, is unlike others in fashion: Founded in 1717, Fauré Le Page began as a master gunsmith renowned for ceremonial weapons that were made for royalty. In the centuries that followed, the brand extended its range to include hunting accessories such as kit bags and satchels.
It was only a decade ago that Fauré Le Page made its foray into fashion, producing a line of tote bags decorated with its signature écailles monogram—a fish scale-like pattern derived from an honourable mark of master gun makers. De Buffévent, intrigued by the brand’s history and convinced of its potential, acquired the brand in 2011 and took over its creative stewardship.
The Fauré Le Page boutique at Takashimaya Shopping Centre
The astute Frenchman kickstarted the luxury label’s transformation into a cult leather goods brand by working closely with its team of craftsmen to produce contemporary bags and accessories that pay tribute to its heritage. The brand’s signature Calibre 21 bag, for example, is modelled after cartridge boxes and features a pistol-shaped pochette that puts a new spin on Fauré Le Page’s motto, “arms of seduction”.
Every step the brand takes is considered and purposeful, de Buffévent noted. “It’s all about patience. We see things in the long-term. Our role is to continue the story of Fauré Le Page, to modernise what has been created so far,” he added.
Does making heritage modern come naturally for you?
I think it does. I think heritage is a type of evidence. Having such deep roots makes things very easy for us at Fauré Le Page—it’s easy to go forward when you know where you came from. For example, you go to a museum to explore your past. But creation is also about reinventing your past. It’s telling the same story, but in many different ways. You will create fantastic collections if you are totally focused on your past. But I think you have to adapt yourself to become the museum of today. Finding ideas is absolutely not an issue for us because there is always innovation, which is absolutely fantastic.
From top: Carry-On tote; Calibre 21 bag; Envelope Triomphe clutch, Fauré Le Page
What’s the creative process like at Fauré Le Page?
We’re in a constant state of dialogue. It leads to originality. Something magical then happens. You don’t create anything by staying on your own. When we draw, it’s basically an idea, but it’s still very conceptual. The craftsmen then transform this 2D sketch into a 3D product. This is an extremely important moment in the creation process. I love the dialogue between craftsmen and their creations—it is very intimate. This creation is important to us. Monotony and boredom are the enemies of love.
You were at Dior before you moved here. How did that prepare you for this role?
I was in charge of retail and the role was all about listening. When you create, the first part of any process is to listen. Listen to your guide, listen to people you’re working with, and listen to things that are happening outside. Who knows? You may do something right.
How do you want people to feel with Fauré Le Page?
A sense of freedom. I want to bring them that with the things we do.