If you’ve found the perfect way to carry your belongings around, count your blessings. In my experience, it’s an elusive thing – which is why I’m excited to have come upon L’Uniform, a range of bags and luggage that even William Morris, who admonished us to have nothing in our houses that wasn’t either useful or beautiful, would have approved of. L’Uniform’s collection is indubitably useful but in its own understated, simple way it is also rather beautiful.
Based in Carcassonne in the south of France, L’Uniform was founded by Jeanne Signoles, who is married to the son of the owner of Goyard, and all its bags are made in factories in the hilltop town. Signoles’ notion was to provide an alternative to the rather grand but heavy offerings provided by Goyard and Louis Vuitton, which are chiefly designed for serious journeys. She felt that another sort of luggage was required for a different sort of travel, something lighter and more informal that could easily be picked up and put down. She also wanted very high-quality items that would last. With this in mind, she chose top-of-the-range woven canvas (prescribing tightly woven army-standard canvas for the khaki versions) with leather, used mostly for the trims and handles. It is all carefully worked by hand and is unencumbered by any form of obvious branding, although every piece can be personalised with stamped or printed names or initials.
There are no serious suitcases (this collection being aimed primarily at short trips or overnighters), but the range is large and highly functional. As well as weekenders (from €590) and carry-ons (from €1,150), there are backpacks (from €375), totes (from €370), satchels (from €325), briefcases (from €260) and sports bags (from €425), plus smaller pieces such as toiletry bags (from €130). There’s even a small tool bag (from €420) that would be great for going to the gym. They come in a variety of chic, unisex, go-anywhere colours (white, khaki, navy blue) and combinations (blue/yellow, red/blue) or you can specify your own through the online ordering service. All this makes it possible to create a very individual collection of bags, easily spotted on any luggage rack.
Dover Street Market, where L’Uniform’s brand of laid‑back cool fits beautifully with Rei Kawakubo’s vision for the shop, stocks a good selection – including some exclusive designs and colourways (from £115). It has chosen the most sober palette of all: nothing but black, khaki and cream. My own personal favourite is the duffel bag (£170), which is perfect for beach or mountain holidays.
The full range is available on L’Uniform’s own website but, best of all, if you happen to be in Paris, is a visit to its Quai Malaquais shop.