Lancel’s story begins in 1876, when the couple Angèle and Alphonse Lancel opened a small pipe factory in the heart of Paris. Seeing success, very quickly, Lancel turned to the retail trade and diversified its product offerings. The shops were strategically located on the main boulevards of Paris, around where the fairly affluent and cosmopolitan clientele lived or frequented. Originally the brand’s best sellers were cigarette holders, crystal glassware, porcelain, silverware and jewelry… then the first handbag.
Albert Lancel, who succeeded his mother Angèle in 1901, demonstrated remarkable audacity and sense of innovation, constantly anticipating the expectations of a clientele eager for modernity. He created the first automatic lighter, the Bambino (a portable radio), and the Aviona trunk, known as the “Umbrella bag,” just to name a few.
In 1929, in, what was then the heart of Parisian fashion and elegance, Lancel opened a revolutionary boutique at Place de l'Opéra. This remains the brand’s flagship store to this day.
After 1950, Lancel continued to grow by attracting an even wider clientele. The brand leveraged its awareness of the desires of a new leisure civilization with its status as a high-end leatherworker.
The “kangaroo” suitcase and the “trotter” handbag were spectacularly successful, as were the famous red luggage and the bucket bag of the 1980’s.