PARIS — Adding to its bouquet of specialty ateliers, Chanel acquired French glove maker Causse through its Paraffection affiliate for an undisclosed sum.
This story first appeared in the September 27, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“This kind of know-how is disappearing,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel fashion, characterizing Causse as one of only a handful of elite glove specialists left in Europe.
Founded in 1892 and based in Millau in southern France, Causse produces about 25,000 pairs a year and employs about 40 people.
Paraffection acquired Causse from husband-and-wife partners Manuel Rubio and Nadine Carel, who took over the business in 2003. Rubio is to remain managing director of the firm, and Carel continues as artistic director.
Olivier Causse, a member of the fourth generation of the founding family, is the director of production.
Causse makes gloves under its own name and also produces for brands including Louis Vuitton, Loewe and Chanel. Indeed, Chanel’s couturier Karl Lagerfeld is one of Causse’s most famous clients and champions, his busy hands perpetually sheathed in fingerless styles made of butter-soft leather.
Causse operates a boutique at 12 Rue de Castiglione in Paris, and an online store.
The acquisition brings to nine the number of specialty ateliers in Paraffection. The others are embroidery firm Montex, the embroider Maison Lesage, gold and silversmith Goosens, shoemaker Massaro, hat maker A. Michel, feather house Lemarié, button specialist Desrues and flower house Guillet.
Pavlovsky said each of the specialty ateliers is logging growth and adding employment.
He noted that gloves have become a more important component of Chanel collections over the past decade. “It’s more and more an important part of the silhouette,” he said.
In 2002, Lagerfeld and Chanel introduced a new pre-fall collection titled Metiers d’art, a ready-to-wear range embellished by the specialty ateliers.