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Known as the shoe designer of the greatest celebrities, Robert Clergerie has followed an unusual path and left his mark on the Made in France shoe industry. After a stay in the United States and an army service for the Algerian war, the future designer, at the time 37, joined the Charles Jourdan factory. There he honed his skills and a few years later took over the Fenestrier brand based in Romans-sur-Isère, the French cradle of the shoe industry. In 1981, Robert Clergerie launched his first collection featuring flat models that were inspired by the men's wardrobe. Thanks to its artisanal know-how and its Goodyear stitching, as well as a focus on comfort, Clergerie's creations became the epitome of quality. The likes of Michelle Obama, Marion Cotillard, Madonna or Carla Bruni wore the brand's platform sandals, natural raffia derbies and suede boots. These famous ambassadors perfectly embodied the contemporary spirit of the label and its signature elegance. While Clergerie's rise has been impressive and rewarded with several "Best Designer of the Year" awards and entry into the American Fashion Footwear Association's "Hall of Fame", it has also gone through few setbacks. After selling the company, Robert Clergerie retired in 2001 and witnessed the decline of the shoe industry. Nevertheless, giving up wasn't an option. Three days prior to filing for bankruptcy and on the eve of his 70th birthday, the founder took the reins of the business by investing two million euros. When he ensured that Clergerie still had a bright future ahead, Robert retired permanently. In 2017, David Tourniaire-Beauciel was appointed Artistic Director and established new techniques to perpetuate the heritage of the house while adding a sense of modernity and reinterpreting classics.
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