Leading luxury firms like Chanel, Maison Fabre and Roeckl continue to create quality gloves.
By Nicholas Sterling
Early gloves were very simple with rough seams and designs that hindered the movement of the hands. Eventually, the modern glove evolved not only in the quality of workmanship but also in beauty and style.
In the Middle Ages, the glove was considered much more than a piece of clothing. It also implied friendship between noble families: giving a pair of gloves meant you trusted that person.
Currently, there are some leading manufacturers— some centuries old— which continue to create pieces in good taste and using high-quality leathers.
These are a few examples:
Maison Fabre gloves
The French Finesse
Maison Fabre is probably the most famous glove manufacturer for fashion lovers. Since 1924 Maison Fabre has produced handmade gloves in Millau (Aveyron), in the Midi-Pyrenees.
Its founder, Etienne Fabre, created a workshop that was unique for its time, and today—four generations later—the gloves made by Maison Fabre are considered among the most luxurious and sophisticated in the world, worn by kings, queens, and an extensive list of celebrities. Only the finest skins —sheep, camel, or snake among others—are used to manufacture these precious items.
Celebrities like Maria Callas, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly wore Fabre gloves. In the Millau workshops, 14 artisans still make—by hand—gloves that reflect the French elegance and savoir-faire.
A model wearing Roeckl gloves
The German Reliability
Since 1839, the German label Roeckl has been manufacturing gloves, always considering the details, smoothness, elasticity, and resistance of their product. They were official suppliers of the Royal House of Bavaria, and Sissi— the famous Empress of Austria—was one of their best customers.
Roeckl is headquartered in Munich, and the firm is currently under the direction of cousins Stephan and Christian Roeckl, the sixth generation of a family that has managed to change their company’s culture to meet the demands of new clients. Although the gloves are still handmade, they are for everyday use. Lately, the company has focused on creating sports gloves for which they use new fibers and cutting edge technologies.
Their designs for horse riding, mountaineering, cycling, and skiing have exceptional value. The vast majority of riders participating in international equestrian competitions protect their hands with Roeckl gloves.
The Glamour of a grand Maison
The famous Parisian fashion house Chanel, founded in 1910 by Coco Chanel, always includes—in its collections— gloves that soon become luxurious objects coveted by fashionistas for their unique characteristics regarding materials and designs.
Chanel’s collections for Spring-Summer and Cruise show unique styles made with sheepskin in metallic silver, blue and white; fancy fabrics as well as pink, violet, and green tweed. They are unique and exclusive models that add a touch of modernity and elegance to the 21st-century woman. ■
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