Luxury houses come and go throughout the decades, often fading away with time, while their influences may live on forever. Such is the case for some of today's most loved luxury brands – forgotten until the right person stumbles upon them and brings them back to life. Responsible for several of the greatest luxury brand revivals of our time, Arnaud de Lummen of Luvanis has both the creative vision and the business know-how to unearth some of the most loved luxury brands of bygone eras. As he sees it, reviving a luxury brand is about offering today's luxury consumer a piece of history, while maintaining the brand's artisanal quality and expertise. The importance when reviving a sleeping beauty, he says, is taking it slow, so as not to damage the legacy.
To begin the journey through the Paris of sleeping beauties, we start at Avenue de l'Opéra – once home to luxury trunk makers for the chic, intercontinental traveller at the height of train travel. While Belgium had Delvaux, France had four of the greatest trunk makers of all time – Moynat, Au Départ, Louis Vuitton and Goyard. While it is dormant today, Au Départ was one of the most sought after trunk makers in Paris from the mid-19th century to 1960, and is the focus of de Lummen's next revival, after he successfully brought Moynat back to life and sold it to Bernard Arnault's LVMH in 2011.
Moynat is again today one of the finest leather goods makers in Paris. The modern-day headquarters at 348 rue Saint Honoré, is not far from its original location. Here, at the brand's Parisian flagship store and atelier, you'll find the full range of beautiful leather bags and accessories.
After visiting Moynat, head across Place de la Concorde to the 'Golden Triangle.' At the Franklin D. Roosevelt roundabout, de Lummen explains, is where the first chapter in his next revival plan begins – with the great 20th century fashion designer, Paul Poiret. Famous for his intricate, often controversial designs, Poiret's international success was cut short, when the simplistic designs of Chanel became the preference of the time after World War I. To enjoy a piece of Poiret history, you can see the original headquarters where today stands Elie Saab flagship boutique, and a plaque dedicated to the designer in front of the Dior boutique on Avenue Montaigne.
Not far from former Poiret headquarters, once stood Vionnet – de Lummen's first revival project – at 50 avenue Montaigne, where 1, 200 seamstresses once worked. Today, in its place, is a Ralph Lauren boutique, where the only remaining link to the building's fascinating history is the façade. Very hush-hush plans are in the works to reopen the brand's flagship store in Paris, sometime in the next year. To conclude the journey through Paris' lost luxury labels, find the plaque dedicated to Madeleine Vionnet that can be seen at the corner of rue François 1er and Avenue Montaigne; the past, present and future heart of Parisian luxury.