1850: From Celebrity Photographer to Luxury Travel Case Maker
In the year 1850, there was a photographer in Paris by the name of François Tissot Dupont who was proud of the special distinction of counting Napoleon III amongst his clients. He was soon joined by his nephew, Simon Tissot Dupont, as an appointed photographer for the Imperial Court of Napoleon III, in Paris. Although his photographic career would end with the War of 1870, during those first years he immortalized the Parisian gentry, as well as the wealthy Europeans travelling through Paris.
In 1872, Simon Tissot Dupont bought a workshop to produce leather travel goods and began crafting leather-made cases and trunks, for diplomats, celebrities, and the same aristocrats he had photographed years before. By 1880, his business was flourishing and he moved into the ‘‘Hôtel Particulier’’ owned by the Baron Isidore Justin Séverin Taylor, Royal Commissioner and protector of the famous French novelist Alexandre Dumas. His neighbors included illustrious names such as the Goldsmiths, Christofle and Ercuis.
Royalty, nobility and celebrities were the most frequent travellers, embarking on journeys that would take several weeks or months. This required an array of different trunks and travel cases. Travel cases, made individually to suit the different needs of clients, became the travel essentials for any person of quality, who would never travel without one! These unique masterpieces were made with the rarest materials and fabrics, and each one was meticulously designed. These travel cases became a luxury part of each traveller’s home and a priceless talisman to take on their journeys.
Orders began to flourish and in 1923 they opened a second workshop in Faverges, France, the family’s home town, located in the picturesque Haute-Savoie Region, at the foot of the Mont Blanc Mountain in the French Alps, recruiting only the best and the brightest craftsmen from 17 different trades. S.T. Dupont products continue to be hand-crafted in this very same place today.