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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A history of Charvet from CoutureLab

"Customers come to get precisely what they want" Denis Colban



Founded in 1838, the House of Charvet was the first shirt shop in France and it is renowned for being the ultimate choice in men's classic tailoring. Prior to starting his own house in Paris, Christophe Charvet was in charge of Napoleon's wardrobe. Once established, Charvet provided King Edward VII with his shirts, exceptionally receiving the Royal Warrant. In 1963 the Charvet family could no longer run the business and Charles de Gaulle - a loyal client - wanted to ensure the house survived and remained French. One of Charvet's fabric suppliers, Denis Colban, was
given the task of finding a buyer. Rather than approaching investors he decided to purchase the company himself. Colban refused numerous offers to sell the company, maintaining the single store in Paris and continuing the house as a family business. "Charvet is about the possibility of choices" says Anne-Marie Colban, who today runs the House of Charvet with her brother Jean-Claude. With a collection of over six thousand shirting fabrics, offering four hundred shades of white, it is evident that Colban's commitment to accommodating any taste or quirk continues to drive the house. There are only fifty shirt-makers working in the Saint Gaultier factory and only one person works on a shirt at a time, doing everything except for the buttonholes and pressing the shirt. Charvet pajamas are made from the same shirting fabrics, and the ties are the finest silk that can be found. The shirts, ties and pajamas at CoutureLab have been specially selected for the most discerning gentleman.


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"Charvet is about the possibility of choices" - Anne-Marie Colban
Fast Facts:

1838
The House of Charvet shirt shop opens in Paris, France.
1869
The company is granted the Royal Warrant by Edward VII.
1889
Charvet wins the gold medal for its fine shirts at the Paris World Fair.
1912
Jean Cocteau writes, Charvet is: “where the rainbow finds ideas”.
1963
The family business is bought by long-term fabric suppliers, Denis Colban.
1994
Colban’s children, Anne-Marie and Jean-Claude, take over the business after his death.
2008
Specially selects a collection of shirts, ties and pajamas for CoutureLab.

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