Photographer to Napoleon III and an innovator with a keen eye for beauty, the 25 year-old Simon Tissot-Dupont had a vision of creating exceptional personalised travel trunks for Parisian high society.
Born in Savoy, Simon Tissot-Dupont founded a carriage company which was destroyed in a fire in 1872. The same year, he bought a workshop wich made leather briefcases for diplomats and businessmen. Later in 1884, Dupont became the supplier to one of the world’s leading retailersof the time and one of world’s the largest shops – Les Grands Magasins du Louvre – while maintaining his private clientele. The personalised travel trunks with bespoke detaling and personalised initials soon became an essential accessory for the European elite. Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie were amongst his first customers. The Maison’s client book included royalty, world leaders, screen legends and style icons living up to Lucien’s Duponts moto: ‘Make it more beautiful. Make it expensive. Make it innovative’.
Dupont handed over his company in 1919 to his sons, André and Lucien, who, trading under the name of Les Fils de S.T. Dupont (the Sons of S.T. Dupont), relaunched the activity. In 1921 the two Tissot-Dupont brothers bought their own Hôtel Particulier at 8bis, rue Dieu in Paris to cater for an ever growing demand for S.T. Dupont luxury high-quality trunks, travel cases, and accessories. Craftsmen were employed and patents were taken out to protect industrial secrets. 250 workers and 17 separate traders were involved in the manufacture, including goldsmiths, woodworkers, engravers, leather craftsmen, lacquer workers, and locksmiths.
A passion for producing the finest in luxury products. A design atelier where ideas and innovation are brought to life and where quality rings true.
S.T. Dupont transferred its workshops from rue Dieu in Paris back to the family’s hometown of Faverges in Savoy in 1924. Five years later, Lucien Tissot-Dupont was invited to New York by famous Parisian jeweller Louis Cartier to present his travel cases in their 5th Avenue shop and became an instant success, setting the standard for luxury travel accessories. On the ship going to New York, he learned about the Wall Street crash. In response, on his subsequent return to Paris, he decided to move even further upmarket and cater to clients unaffected by the crash.
When, in 1941, the Maharajah of Patiala ordered 100 exquisite minaudière evening bags in lacquer for his harem, each containing a solid gold cigarette lighter, our innovative artisans brought their artistic approach to designing the world’s first luxury lighter. Six years later, as France’s leading leather goods artisans, S.T. Dupont were commissioned to produce a personalised travel case for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II and Hollywood actor Humphrey Bogart commissioned the artisans at S.T. Dupont to design a lightweight travel bag for air travel and for weekends on his yacht, the Santana. Continuing their tradition of supplying the world’s elite, in 1951, S.T. Dupont artisans were tasked with the role of creating a bespoke travel case specially designed for the Duchess of Windsor. In 1953 André Dupont created his first ladies’ handbag, the ‘Riviera’ as a limited edition, using exotic leathers to complete his range of special orders. The Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan and actress Audrey Hepburn became one of his first clients.
Make it more beautiful. Make it expensive. Make it innovative.
The French Maison took a new direction in 1973 with the production of its first luxury pen, the Classique, made of sterling silver. When Jackie Kennedy Onassis mentioned she’d love a pen to match her beloved personalised lighter, S.T. Dupont’s artisans designed the first luxury ballpoint based on her lighter’s drive wheel. The company also experienced a renaissance of its classic luxury goods – leather goods, watches and cufflinks, wich it continues to produce today. The 135th anniversary of the Maison was celebrated in 2007. The company is known today for its expertise in luxury goods crafted of precious metals, leather and featuring Chinese lacquer detailing.
Fragrances were an important addition to the luxury lines offered by this prestigious French Maison. The first S.T. Dupont Pour Homme and Pour Femme were introduced in 1998. S.T. Dupont fragrances are produced under license by Interparfums.