Though it had its share of fans, the Netflix romantic comedy “Emily in Paris” was widely panned by French critics for its abundant cliches and stereotypes about their country. Now, however, French luxury brand Longchamp arrives just in time to restore its capital city’s honor with this abstract, stylish film that is everything the series is not.
The delightfully off-kilter, eight-minute short from Fred & Farid tells the tale of two women, one French (Mathilde Ollivier) and one British (Amber Anderson), and their identical Longchamp bags. Their paths cross during a night out, leading to an accidental switch up between purses and owners (plus one lost cat). The story continues into the morning, taking the viewer on a curious spin through the streets of Paris, layered with bits of romance and plenty of atmosphere. The tale is a mashup of cinematic storytelling, animation and music video, fittingly set to French pop legend Jacques Dutronc’s classic track “Il est cinq heures, Paris s'éveille” (“It’s five o’clock, Paris is waking up”), covered by singer Clara Lucian.
Longchamp had tapped agency Fred & Farid, which has offices in both Paris and Los Angeles, to create its new global brand campaign, “Tres Paris” (“Very Paris”). Founded in France 72 years ago, Longchamp is known for its style, understated elegance and quality, and the new platform embraces French culture while celebrating the brand’s legendary place within it.
"I had in mind a spontaneous, mobile, fluid woman, she rushes into life with independence and freedom,” said Longchamp Artistic Director Sophie Delafontaine said about the campaign in a statement. “Faithful to her values, she has character, and cultivates her epicurean side without taking herself seriously.”
In creating the anchor film, Fred & Farid conceived the idea to create a modern music video for an iconic Parisian song and then landed on Dutronc’s famous track about Paris coming to life in the wee hours. “If you’ve never seen Paris waking up after a night out on the town, then you’ve never seen Paris,” agency co-founders Fred Raillard and Farid Mokart said in a statement. “And that’s why this song touches every Parisian. It describes a universal experience that connects us all.”
As the agency crafted the idea, it eventually evolved into a blend of traditional narrative and music video. Throughout, on display are Longchamp wares from its Spring/Summer 2021 collection, including the “Roseau” bag at the center of the story.
The agency tapped Lope Serrano from directing duo CANADA to helm the piece. He was largely influenced by the 1960s French New Wave film movement and even drew custom movie posters and illustrations that appear throughout the film and its trailer.