French Heritage Brand Charles Jourdan Aims for Comeback – Footwear News

Throughout the French footwear market, a number of storied heritage manufacturers are making a comeback — from Clergerie to Freelance. Now 101-year-old Charles Jourdan, owned by Groupe Royer, is reemerging for fall ’22 below the course of a brand new creative director, ready-to-wear designer Christelle Kocher. 

The artistic director of the Koché ready-to-wear label and of the Chanel-owned feather and flower-maker Lemarié mentioned she was able to tackle a brand new problem in footwear. “Footwear are usually not solely equipment in my thoughts, they’re a central aspect that defines each look,” she mentioned.

Groupe Royer, which purchased Charles Jourdan in 2009, has made a number of makes an attempt to relaunch it, most not too long ago in 2017 with the opening of a retailer on Place de la Madeleine in Paris. However Jourdan has been dormant for the final two years, and has been absent from the American marketplace for for much longer. (Within the U.S., Titan Industries and BBC Worldwide teamed as much as purchase the North American licensing rights and relaunch the model in 2009, but it surely by no means materialized.)

For Charles Jourdan’s newest iteration, Kocher — who has labored with manufacturers from Converse to Pucci — dug deep into the archives, reviving a Seventies graphic emblem, which seems on architectural heels, buckles and packaging. The fabric tales embrace orange bouclé wool and lilac satin embossed to appear like ostrich leather-based. Metallic heels impressed by minimalist artist Donald Judd and architect Eileen Grey.

“It was an actual technical feat making all these heels. They’re like little sculptures. I wished them to look good on the foot, but additionally to be lovely as objects,” she defined.

The gathering is made in Italy, a departure from the model’s French shoemaking roots. (Its authentic manufacturing facility in Romans, France is now closed.)

Right here, Kocher, who was featured on FN’s 2017 Rising Expertise record, talks about bringing contemporary perspective to the model, the fun of going by the archives and what it takes to modernize a heritage label.


Charles Jourdan makes a comeback on the Koche runway at Paris Vogue Week in March

CREDIT: Dominique Maitre for WWD

What are the three phrases you’ll use to explain Charles Jourdan? 

“Ahead considering, horny, audacious.”

As a ready-to-wear designer, what do you carry to a traditional shoe model? 

“I assume that’s why Charles Jourdan selected me for this relaunch — to create one thing with a contemporary eye. Footwear can completely rework a silhouette, so I pay the identical consideration to garments and footwear after I create a search for my exhibits, for instance. The shoe enterprise is in fact completely different, however, on the finish of the day … it should present the imaginative and prescient that you’ve for the girl.”

You’ll be able to inform that you just actually studied the archive. What was the method like? 

“I dove deep into the archives. I’m sort of a vogue historical past geek, so accessing all of this unimaginable heritage is priceless. I used to be like a child in a sweet store. Specifically, I used to be fascinated by the previous catalogs and promoting, in fact Man Bourdin, however not solely. It was so fashionable and delightful. It was actually a second of pleasure for me.”

What do you assume is the important thing to bringing again a heritage model?

“Heritage is so treasured today. It brings again part of vogue historical past that makes us perceive the evolution of our time. However you’ll be able to’t simply depend on that, in any other case your model turns into a museum. So, the important thing aspect is modernity — what bridge can we construct between the previous and the long run? It has at all times been a part of my artistic course of from Koché to Pucci, Converse, Maison Lemarié and now Charles Jourdan.”


Charles Jourdan, fall '22, relaunch

Charles Jourdan’s archival heel is included closely within the relaunch assortment.

With contributions from Joelle Diderich 

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