S.T. Dupont's history spans three different centuries. The visionary company has utilized its savoir faire to craft desirable objects coveted by the elite. They prize exceptional materials for their quality and artisans for their knowledge and craft.
In 1872, 25 year-old Simon Tissot Dupont—photographer to Napoleon III and an innovator with a keen eye for beauty—opened a luggage and leather goods workshop in Rue Dieu, Paris with a vision of creating exceptional personalised travel trunks for Parisian high society.
It quickly became a well-regarded location among members of Parisian high society. The bespoke, personalised travel trunks became an essential accessory for European elite, with Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie amongst his first customers. Dupont's good became so well-regarded, that, in 1884, S.T. Dupont became the supplier to Les Grands Magasins du Louvre, one of the world's leading retailers of the time.
In 1919, the workshop passed to Simon’s two sons, Lucien and André. They continued their father's excellent work, expanding the workshop in 1921 to cater to an ever-growing demand for S.T. Dupont luxury trunks and travel cases. Just three years later, however, as orders were skyrocketing, the Dupont sons transferred the business back to the family's home town of Faverges, in Haute Savoie, in the foothills of the Alps, close to Lake Annecy.
Eager to expand their market, S.T. Dupont partnered with Louis Cartier in 1929 to make their travel cases available at the Cartier boutique on Fifth Avenue in New York. They became an instant success, setting the standard for luxury travel accessories.
In 1930, Lucien invented a revolutionary new tanning process to treat the fine leathers used in their trunks and travel cases. His technique—still used today for S.T. Dupont’s Diamond Soft range—used diamond powder to give S.T. Dupont leather extra durability and suppleness. The superior strength of diamond tanned leather enabled it to stand up to heat, humidity, and the rigours of travel.
S.T. Dupont's prestigious materials and impeccable craftsmanship forged its reputation as a leading luxury luggage maker. The company’s clients included royalty, world leaders, screen legends, and style icons. Lucien’s motto, ‘Make it more beautiful. Make it expensive. Make it innovative.’ was fully in evidence.
1939 brough S.T. Dupont a new challenge. The Maharajah of Patiala ordered 100 natural lacquer minaudière evening bags for his harem, each containing a solid gold, pocket petrol, cigarette lighter. The S.T. Dupont innovative artisans got to work, utilizing their artistic approach to design the world’s first luxury lighter, and giving birth to the company's Art of Fire line in 1941.
The next few years brought continued success. 1947 saw Humphrey Bogart commission a lightweight travel bag for air travel and weekends on his yacht as well as a personalized travel case commissioned for the wedding of then-princess Elizabeth. 1951 brought a commission to design a bespoke travel case for the Duchess of Windsor. In 1953, André created the company's first ladies’ handbag, the limited edition ‘Riviera’, using exotic leathers. Audrey Hepburn became one of his first clients.
Jackie Kennedy provided the impetus to start the Art of Writing line in 1973 when she mentioned she’d love a pen to match her personalised lighter. S.T. Dupont artisans designed the first luxury ballpoint based on her lighter’s drive wheel.
The launch of the Andy Warhol limited edition series in 2004 saw iconic pop art motifs brought to life on a range of lighters and writing instruments. Also in 2004, after over a decade of partnering with the world’s most famous secret agent, S.T. Dupont released three limited edition collections for James Bond featuring refined style and technical innovation.
In 2011, S.T. Dupont embarked on a creative collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld that would see the visionary fashion designer develop several signature ranges, utilizing their atelier’s expertise and heritage to bring his creative flair to life in new ways. S.T. Dupont was also privileged to be chosen that same year to make the official gift from the French government to mark the British Royal Wedding.
In 2014, S.T. Dupont created a masterpiece lighter in gold inspired by the baroque style of Louis XIII, and designed by his descendant, HRH Princess Tania de Bourbon Parme. This unique work of art, with over 41 carats of sapphires, has been recognised as the most expensive lighter in the world by the Guinness Book of Records.
in 2017, S.T. Dupont celebrated 145 years of prestige and exclusivity. They continue to engage with new generations, designing objects for them that have a deep affinity for their era. By drawing inspiration from 21st century pop culture, S.T. Dupont has redefined the boundaries for luxury and high-end products. Their recent collections combine vibrant modernity with age-old traditions of craftsmanship.
With their atelier still almost on the shores of Lake Annecy, the purest lake in Europe, S.T. Dupont products are produced in one of France’s outstanding natural environments. The pure mountain air, blue skies and clear water were an inspiration to Simon and his sons, and still influence the company’s progressive environmental and sustainability ethos today.