January 25, 2017 2 min read
1936: THE ORIGINS OF MAISON MICHEL
Auguste Michel opens his hat shop at 65, rue Sainte-Anne in Paris. At the time, women went to fashionable milliners and men to hat-makers for their headgear.
1968: MAISON MICHEL REMAINS STANDING
Milliners and hat-makers close down one after another. Auguste Michel survives and hands over his house to entrepreneur Pierre Debard and his milliner wife Claudine. Maison Michel is born, an atelier specializing in head accessories, employing a plethora of techniques in hat manufacture and design.
THE 1960’s: THE EMERGENCE OF READY-TO-WEAR
The post-war period saw a dramatic change in social behaviour and in the way people dressed, with ready-to-wear gradually replacing the bespoke tradition
1975: THE REACTIVATION OF THE WEISMANN MACHINE
Pierre and Claudine Debard reorganize the Maison Michel ateliers to better accommodate the needs of its Haute Couture clients, modernizing the precious bespoke hat-making techniques that form part of the house’s heritage. The Weismann, an old straw sewing machine that produces invisible seams, is reactivated.
THE 1970’s: MAISON MICHEL COURTS THE WORLD OF HAUTE COUTURE
Pierre Debard surfs the rise of the era’s couturiers to position the house among the leading suppliers of Parisian Haute Couture. Maison Michel remains a necessity in this troubled domain, cultivating a sustainable relationship with the era’s major names.
THE 1980s: MAISON MICHEL, THE PRIVILEGED PARTNER OF HAUTE COUTURE
Haute Couture reigns over ready-to-wear, dictating the era’s fashion attitudes and trends. Maison Michel is in its element among a network of highly respected ateliers flexing their expertise.
1997: MAISON MICHEL JOINS CHANEL’S MÉTIERS D’ART PORTFOLIO OF SPECIALTY ATELIERS
Chanel, long dedicated to safeguarding Parisian know-how, acquires Maison Michel. Pierre and Claudine Debard retire in 2002.
2006: MAISON MICHEL LAUNCHES READY-TO-WEAR
Maison Michel launches its eponymous diffusion line under Laëtitia Crahay while remaining the official supplier to the major luxury houses, along with a separate bespoke service for VIP clients.
2013: MAISON MICHEL’S FIRST BOUTIQUE
Maison Michel opens its first store on rue Cambon in Paris, followed by a second in London in 2014.
2015: PRISCILLA ROYER ENTERS THE SCENE
A revitalising of the house’s image and ateliers are handed over to young designer Priscilla Royer, co-founder of the Pièce d’Anarchive label. Her approach is geared to individual style, with a focus on head accessories.
2016: MAISON MICHEL CELEBRATES ITS 80TH YEAR AND ITS EPONYMOUS READY-TO-WEAR LINE’S 10TH YEAR
This year marks the house’s 80th anniversary and the Maison Michel line’s 10th birthday.