The Beret Story
By Edward Quan, StyleDrama
Apr 21, 2017 - 2:29:44 PM
The French beret long associated with artist Pablo Picasso living in Paris during the early 1900’s, revolutionaries and made stylish by actress and fashion model Brigitte Bardot in the 50’s has returned as one of the hottest luxury fashion looks for spring.
Now with its rebel history and look, it has recently appeared in the runway designer collections of Yves Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, and Dior. Given a makeover with bright colored textured wools to all black leather with colored stones, the best beret looks on the fashion models were with their hair up.
This aged old symbol of French fashion originated in the Pyrenees about 400 years ago, first worn by rural peasants, then soldiers in the 18th and 19th centuries before becoming a worldwide symbol of French chic.
Propelling the humble beret to luxury status is Laulhére, France’s oldest and last remaining beret manufacturer, which just opened a boutique on Paris rue Faubourg Saint Honoré nearby luxury house of Hermes and YSL.
Laulhére began manufacturing berets 170 years ago and still uses the same century old machinery to knit merino wool, and then hand steams, forms and colors each hat. This process takes nearly two days to complete and they now sell over 200,000 berets a year with a price ranging from US$75 for a basic model to nearly US$1200 for leather decorated with stones and crystals. Their main clientele are now international tourists looking to take home a piece of French luxury.
Back in the mid 80’s, there were over 20 beret manufactures in the Pyrénées region, all driven out of business by lower cost Chinese and India factories. The workers at Laulhére are strongly driven to offer quality “Made in France” beret today.
During your next trip to Paris, visit Laulhére to acquire one of their luxury berets. Not only will you look totally chic, you will also help preserve one of France’s oldest fashion icons.
Read all articles by Edward Quan
About the Author: Experienced luxury fashion buyer
has worked with the most prestigious designer brands across Europe and
America and shares his inspiration for effortless style on his website,
He has a passionate, yet intelligent way of describing his subject and
has a keen eye for detail. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.
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