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Business Personality Highlight: Augustin de Buffévent of FAURÉ LE PAGE

Augustin de Buffévent x Fauré Le Page
The fashion industry is witnessing the return of historical names that were once in the limelight. Businessman and entrepreneur Augustin de Buffévent was able to revive the legacy house of handbags and leatherworks Fauré Le Page and place it at the top-tier market. With a flagship store at the one and only Rue Cambon and stores across the continents, including the Middle East, de Buffévent is determined on telling the 18th century tale of his French house.

AM: How did you end up acquiring Maison Fauré Le Page?
I traveled Europe, the Middle East and the United States to guide the evolution of the boutique network for a renowned Parisian luxury brand for almost a decade. Passionate about art, I frequented museums, exhibitions, and auction houses, and in the process, stumbled upon Fauré Le Page. I became absorbed by this legend immediately. The house is intertwined with the history of France; the weaponsmith for Kings and Princes, and supplier to the revolutionaries of 1789 and 1830. In 2011, I acquired Fauré Le Page at almost three centuries after the house was founded. I recaptured the savoir faire, and revealed new weapons of seduction.

AM: What is the Fauré Le Page DNA?
My inspiration is fed by the esteemed archives which were in a fantastic mess when I first found them. The essence of this House is born from this chaos. At once armor and ornament, the scale motif has quickly become the house’s signature. This pattern is printed onto the weave of the canvas in 7 steps, using different stencils. This demanding technique, named Lyon Frame Printing, is intricate and requires the hand of a virtuoso. It enables Fauré Le Page to pair a superlatively strong canvas with the embellishment reserved for the finest of fabrics. Mars, Ochre, Steel Grey, Paris Blue, Empire Green, Strong Red: the house palette features a selection of shades poetically referencing our vibrant history. The exclusivity of the house takes its roots from its endless codes. The scale, the caliber and number 7 are the pillars of the Fauré Le Page soul.

Fauré Le Page

AM: And how much of a responsibility is to manage the rich heritage of the Maison while also appealing to a modern clientele?
Heroes never age. Fauré Le Page creations are timeless and do not follow the common fashion calendar. Leather goods were created by gunsmiths, and bags were made initially for men to carry their weapons and personal belongings. Many shapes that have inspired the fashion world come from the hunting industry such as the bucket bag. Combining this knowledge with a fresh, at times-quirky, aesthetic, the house crafts totes, messenger bags, clutches and also maintains a selection of lifestyle items such as hip flasks, foldable camping stools and even leather animal figurines.

AM: Fauré Le Page seems to be a “niche brand” with a very strong following, is this an intentional strategy?
With only 10 stores around the world, the house’s reputation has slowly but steadily been built through word of mouth and social networks. We take great pride in keeping the brand exclusive and discreet, perpetuating its historical craftsmanship. Our ambassadors are luxury connoisseurs who are looking for brands with legendary heritage. That is why, although it took us 300 years to open our first store, our local customer base is already very strong.

AM: And how is the creative process like for a new collection?
I am extremely thoughtful in everything I do, without taking myself too seriously. Loyal to Fauré Le Page's long heritage, I remain independently minded in all my creations and I tirelessly love to reinvent the rules of romantic conquest. From the design to the launch in the store it can take up to a year to complete a collection. Passion and patience are at the heart of what we do. There is no seduction without commitment to perfection!
AM: Fauré Le Page is high-end yet sustainable, tell us more
Sustainability has always been at the root of the brand. The house is proud to create bags that last, thanks to the historical savoir-faire of our craftsmen as well as the quality of our selected raw materials. We source the best leather and the best know-hows only in France, Spain and Italy. For example, our iconic scale canvas is fully made in France. When imagining new creations, I don’t follow trends or fashion calendars because they have a tremendous impact on the environment. That is why most of our collections are permanent and designs are timeless. To avoid waste as much as possible, we reinvent exclusive new pieces with the scraps from the main collections. To continue our efforts in this direction, we thrive to provide our customers with recycled and reusable packaging for all online orders.
Fauré Le Page
AM: The Made in France is one of the most attractive labels to clients worldwide, what is it about the French savoir-faire that makes it so in demand?
Made in France is an attractive label to customers worldwide because of the quality and the dedication of its craftsmen, the durability of its materials and the very high standards of its workshops. There is no other place in the world where you can find these three elements all at once. During these last two years of the pandemic, we noticed that the desire for French savoir-faire has dramatically risen. As travels are limited, purchasing from a French House gives the taste of being in France.

AM: How popular is the brand amongst customers from the Middle East?
Fauré Le Page was an official supplier to the royal and imperial courts in the world. Today men and women in the Middle East region are tremendously inspiring in terms of culture, art and lifestyle and renowned for their elegant taste and sophistication. I believe they are curious to find niche luxury brands with history and heritage. Our creations remain very exclusive with limited distribution, that is why Fauré Le Page bags and accessories fulfill clients’ quest for uniqueness and celebrate their everyday style. Furthermore, the growing influence of the area in the world makes me believe that the house has an amazing potential on a local level.