A tour inside footwear manufacturer JM Weston, where one pair of Richelieu takes between 6 and 8 weeks of work

JM Weston is one of the historic brands of luxury French shoes. Founded in 1891 in Limoges, it still has its production in the trans-alpine city where about 180 workers are employed, and it makes nearly 100,000 pairs of shoes every year, all made exclusively with calf leather. One pair or Richelieu takes between 6 and 8 weeks of work. The manufacturing process for a JM Weston pair of shoes, brand owned by the Holding with many luxury brands in its wallet, EPI, was analytically described by Delphine-Marion Boulle of FranceBleu: from the cutting of the leather till the most important phases of the 180 steps involved in the fabrication of the shoes. Not by chance, in fact, the brand’s best-selling model is the 180. The tale of the production process begins with the cutter, Jean-Jeacques and moves to Daniel, the assembler that takes two hours per shoe (4 hours for a pair). The shoes then move in the hands of Maria for the hemming step and to Nabilla’s, who dyes the leather profiles by hand. The it’s Alexis’ turn, who irons the leather pieces on to the shape of the shoe while Alexandre sows the bottom. Josiane then conducts quality checks. In the last ten years JM Weston received the “Entreprise du Patrimoine vivant” mark, which is awarded for made-in-France product excellence. The French marketplace is the main one for JM Weston, followed by Japan, which accounts for 15% of sales. The brand opened a store in Tokyo this past February which offers a personalization service: 24 models, 110 types of leather and 28 colors.

 

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