The French shoemaker J.M. Weston accelerates its international stride
By Aymeric Mantoux23 novembre 2023
A discreet yet chic brand, J.M. Weston stands as the leading luxury shoemaker in France. Established in 1891 by Eugène Blanchard, this artisanal gem is currently owned by EPI, the holding company of the Descours family. Marc Durie, its chairman, shares his vision for the brand and upcoming developments.
€ 50 Mio
J.M. Weston's turnover in 2022
The number of pairs produced per year
The number of pairs repaired per year
Despite its Anglo-Saxon name, J.M. Weston has been a French company since 1891, based in Limoges and labeled as a "Living Heritage Company" (EPV). This status is essential to preserve exceptional craftsmanship involving the hand-cutting and hand-sewing of various leather pieces with silk thread. It takes a week and 180 operations to craft a pair of Weston shoes, hence the name of their famous moccasin, the "180." J.M. Weston is also the official footwear provider for the French Republican Guard during the July 14 parade on the Champs-Élysées for the French national holiday.
While rooted in tradition, the house continues to innovate and does not take its success for granted. "The brand is growing significantly on the internet, and our clientele has become, on average, five years younger over the past three years," notes Marc Durie, the brand's chairman since January 2021. Periodically, the brand engages in collaborations, such as Kitsune, L’Uniforme, Bisou-Bisou skateboards, and Sœur, to refresh its classic references. A year and a half ago, Weston introduced a line of repairable sneakers using the side-seam technique. Most house models receive care throughout their lifespan, with 10,000 customers annually entrusting the manufacturer with pairs for repair. Weston even acquires 1,500 pairs each year to offer as "vintage" on its website or in stores. The strength of the house lies in its 40 iconic models, such as "la Golf," "Chelsea boots," or the moccasin, instantly recognizable to discerning enthusiasts. These models pass down through generations, evoking a desire for covetousness and fostering a culture of collection and care. Judging by the new models seen in the workshops, the story is far from over.
What strategies is J.M. Weston employing to attract new, younger audiences?
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