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The craftsmanship

It takes between three and six hours to make each ready-to-wear Charvet shirt, with thorough quality checks at each stage of production. When a patterned fabric is used, great care is taken to ensure that the pattern matches around the placket, collar, yoke and sleeves. All production takes place in France.

The construction

Charvet shirts are sewn with 20 stitches per inch for the utmost durability. The shoulder yoke is one piece, curved to follow the natural lines of the back, while the collar is constructed from six layers of unfused cloth for a formal, but not stiff, appearance.

The materials

The fabrics for Charvet shirts are woven from Egyptian Sea Island cotton and sourced from France, Italy, Switzerland and the UK. All materials and patterns are developed especially for the brand. Buttons are Australian mother-of-pearl.

The craftsmanship

Charvet ties are cut and stitched by hand in France, with careful quality controls at every stage of the process. Heavy yet fluid, bias-cut fabrics are used alongside resilient interlinings to ensure the ties hang perfectly. After production, all ties are scanned with a metal detector for any remaining pins or needles.

The materials

Only fine-grade silks are used for Charvet ties, with high yarn counts, ensuring they 'shimmer' and catch the light beautifully. Charvet is credited with making patterned ties popular during the Art Deco period in the early 20th century. Today a range of luxurious brocade silks are used to create sophisticated designs.

The details

The bag fastens with a hook closure, and contains three pockets. The iconic double G Gucci logo is in metal, attached near the top of the bag, along with a leather luggage tag. Small feet are placed on the bottom of the bag to help preserve the leather.

Photography by Mr Matthew Donaldson
"Time and concentration are very important. We encourage our workers to take their time and make the best. Our workshop is known for its silence..."
Mr Jean-Claude Colban,
director, Charvet

Charvet, the venerable Parisian style institution, was founded by Monsieur Joseph-Christophe Charvet in 1838. Monsieur Charvet, whose father oversaw Napolean's wardrobe, introduced a new idea when he set up shop in Paris: customers were measured, and selected a fabric, in the shop where their shirts were duly made. Previously, customers had to supply their own cloth to their tailors. Monsieur Charvet's following quickly grew as he pioneered closer fits with curved armholes and collars as well as shoulder yokes - all hallmarks of dress shirts today. By the turn of the century, Charvet's reputation as the best shirtmaker in Paris (and, according to many, the world) was firmly established.

The Charvet Story

Prince Edward granted Charvet a royal warrant to supply him with shirts in 1869. This helped to raise Charvet's profile, as the prince was an important arbiter of men's style at the time
Charvet has just one shop, on Place Vendôme in Paris, seen here in 1909 at number 25. It subsequently moved to number 8, before moving again to its current location at number 28
The brand's service extended beyond bespoke production: in 1903 Charvet opened a laundry in Paris, to which people from around the world sent their shirts for washing
French artist and style icon Monsieur Jean Cocteau (1889 - 1963) frequently wore Charvet with aplomb
Charvet has always prided itself on the immaculate presentation of its shop, seen here in the 1930s. The painters André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck have, among others, decorated the windows

Since 1965 Charvet has been owned by the Colban family, who introduced the ready-to-wear line and increased the range of fabric and colour options for which Charvet is renowned today. Charvet's core values of quality and service have been preserved, with all items carefully made in France. Illustrious customers over the years are numerous: Marcel Proust wore Charvet shirts and ties, and mentioned the label in his Remembrance of Things Past; King Edward VII, Robert de Montesquiou, Édouard Manet, Nelson Rockefeller, President John F Kennedy and Yves Saint Laurent have also been patrons.