Saturday, 14 July 2012
For this new issue of my posts about evergreen vintage logos, I am going to present you one of most French brand: Petit Bateau! This summer I left Paris for coming back in Italy - as usual - with a new Petit Bateau lined swimwear: I always dreamed to have it but the rainy weather of Paris always frustrated my desires considering silly to buy a swimwear with 15°C outside... and when the summer suddenly came, it was always out of stocks in the shops! This time I took decision to not risk again and in March I have already secured one for me! And while I was waiting for wearing it, I made a special stamp with which I decorated a cotton bag for my dreamed swimwear...
I always considered Petit Bateau a classic of the French style but I was not aware of its age and achievements. I discovered indeed that this brand has a long history beyond it. It was founded by Pierre Valton in 1893 under the name of Valton & Fils in Troyes and it was originally a producer of hosiery. In 1918 Valton had the idea to create a new kind of underwear: until then, all underpants were long and included legs; the innovative idea of Valton was to cut off legs and to produce, by this way, the first modern pants. The second big innovation of this brand was to create a new working method to produce the typical lined jersey, which nowadays is associated with marine style, able to resist to high temperature washes.
A curious story is linked with the adoption of the name of Petit Bateau. According with the corporate story of this firm, the idea to produce pants without legs pop up in the head of Valton while singing an old French song that says "Maman les p'tits bateaux, qui vont sur l'eau ont-ils des jambes?" (Mammy, have the little boats, which go on the water, they too their legs?). Since than, a little boat became the logo and the name of one of most famous producers of hosiery and underwear in the world, almost a French flag internationally recognized.
For long-time Petit Bateau was chiefly a brand for little ones. The fortune of this firm was indeed built focusing progressively their products on the market for kids and babies, after the starting as adult hosiery producers at the end of XIX century. Only recently, Petit Bateau extended its wears to adults, but it curiously kept sizes as given for children. For instance, an XS corresponds to 12 years, S to 14 years, M to 16 years and so forth up to 20 years that means XL /as shown below). Funny, by this way I still consider to be only 14 years old!
Etichette: timeless vintage brands