Charles Jourdan (1883- 1976) opened his first shoe store in Romans, France, in 1919. His women’s shoe line overshadowed the popularity of his men’s offerings. After WWII, his sons joined his business and they opened a Paris boutique in 1957. They were granted a license from the House of Dior in 1959 to exclusively design and manufacture shoes for the line. It was not their last licensing endeavor, as in the 1990s the company produced shoes for Pierre Cardin.
In 1975, ready-to-wear clothing and handbag lines were added. When Mr. Jourdan passed away in 1976, son Roland took the helm until his retirement in 1981. At this time the company was sold. In 2003 the designer at Charles Jourdan was Canadian shoe designer Patrick Cox. In 2005, Josephus Thimister was named designer, but the company stopped production not long afterward. In 2009 it was announced that the line would be relaunched under the direction of Alexandra Neel.
Written by vintagegent.com