In today’s WSJ there is an article on the manufacturing of high end dress shirts and it provides some insights into Charvet and fabric production. The accompanying interview with Lucas Ossendrijver, head of menswear design at Lanvin is also worth a read.

A Shirt’s Tale

Shirt-making is a serious business — and the devil is entirely in the details. Jean-Claude Colban, who runs the French clothier and shirt-maker Charvet with his sister Anne-Marie, spends several weeks a year at his computer terminal, creating a few hundred unique color swatches — shifting the scale of stripes, slightly changing the color relationships. Even a white shirt has both overtones and undertones, after all, and the hue of a blue yarn changes, for instance, when set beside another color. Mr. Colban registers each color combination he creates, so that Charvet holds the sole rights to it.

“We do not just develop patterns to show to stores,” Mr. Colban says, noting that he not only markets Charvet’s shirts, but designs them as well. “We are like wine merchants…growing their own vines.”

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