Moynat appoints Nicholas Knightly as new designer

06 Jul 2020 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Dominic Jeffares

Moynat is renowned for its streamlined, timeless luggage and top-handle handbags, which pay tribute to the venerable French brand's enviable heritage 

LVMH-owned leather goods specialist Moynat has tapped Nicholas Knightly as its new designer, succeeding Ramesh Nair. Knightly moves across from Louis Vuitton, where he has held the position of creative director of leather goods since 2004.

Moynat was founded in 1849 by Pauline Moynat, the first female malletier of her time. It became known for its iconic automobile trunks, which were custom-made to fit the contours of a client’s vehicle and slip easily onto steam trains. Moynat failed to move with the times, however, and was quietly closed down in the mid-seventies.

In 2011, LVMH’s Bernard Arnault purchased the Moynat name and revived the all-but-forgotten leather goods brand, under the creative direction of Ramesh Nair. Today, it is considered a byword for understated, impeccable Parisian luxury, with a London flagship on Mount Street in Mayfair.

The Moynat boutique, located on Mayfair’s Mount Street

Compared to other maison’s under the LVMH umbrella, Moynat’s DNA is minimal and subtle, evoking the signature clean-lined trunks that made the House famous. It employs haute savoir-faire and century-old knowhow – a single artisan oversees all parts of leather making. Its most famous handbag, the Réjane, was created by Pauline Moynat in 1903 and so-called after the actress Gabrielle Réjane.

Aside from his successful tenure at Louis Vuitton for more than a decade, Knightly has made significant contributions to Mulberry, where he was creative director from 2002 to 2004; in his first year, he created one of the world’s most celebrated (and imitated) handbags, the Bayswater. He has also held the position of head of design at Margaret Howell, creative director at Renown Look, and a consultant designer at Whistles. In 2015 he launched his own handbag label, Mallet & Co, whilst still designing for Louis Vuitton.

Moynat Réjane

Knightly’s arrival follows the appointment of Lisa Attia as CEO of Moynat earlier this year. Attia comes from Sephora, highlighting LVMH’s inclination for promoting talent from within its network. Both join the brand at a critical time, continuing the ongoing renewal of Moynat.

The storied maison has opened 14 stores worldwide, nine of which are located in Asia – a strong indicator of its targeted clientele.

112 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2TU