History of Agnelle
In 1937, in Saint-Junien, the “City of the Leather Glove,” in Limousin, Joseph Pourrichou, director of a paper mill, founds a glove-making workshop for his son Lucien. Currently under the direction of his great granddaughter Sophie Gregoire, Agnelle, has remained family-owned across three generations.
Soon after the workshop’s founding, war and resistance force Lucien’s wife, Marie-Louise, to take the reins. Loved, respected, and unrepentantly hard-working, she uses her acumen and skill to forge close relationships with the tanners and taweries that supply her. Under her direction, orders for gloves begin to multiply. She builted the iconic bulding factory in the heart of Saint-Junien. It is at this moment that Agnelle makes its ascent.
Marie-Louise’s daughter, Josie Le Royer, a vivacious seductress gifted with a creative and pragmatic bent, continues to innovate and pushes to expand Agnelle’s reach. Paris is her grand ambition. She gathers together the houses of haute couture – Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Landin…as well as the young creators Alaïa, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Lacroix... Agnelle become the expert in gloves, a cristalization of savoir-faire and creativity, melds with luxury. At the same time, she opens up the market and offers, with her typical good sense, a more affordable line.
Josie’s daughter, Sophie Grégoire begins her education in 1986 at the very heart of the label’s operations. Intuitive and committed to social justice, she proves as audacious as her forebears. While still maintaining the traditional artistry of her predecessors, which still results in products that transcend the demands of the high fashion labels with their delicateness and sensitivity, Sophie Grégoire opens a workshop in the Phillipines in 1988. The employees of this new workshop are trained by the artisans of Saint-Junien themselves. In adherence to the standards and quality of their Saint-Junien counterparts, their fine leather still comes from French tanneries and taweries.
Purchased by American glovemaker Well Lamont in 1999, Agnelle is ultimately reacquired by Sophie Grégoire in 2001 and brought back into the family. Sophie brings her own ambition to Agnelle: an ambition to hone the science and art of glove design and manufacture and adapt it to contemporary fashion and technological advances in materials, all while fashioning her own distinct Agnelle label. Her persistence is rewarded: in 2010 she receives the Business Woman Veuve Clicquot Award; in 2011, she is a made a knight in the French National Order of the Legion of Honour; and in 2012, the Grand Prix KBL Richelieu de l’Entrepreneur de Valeurs.
Founded in Saint-Junien, the glove shop on the Avenue de la République was built in 1955 by Marie-Louise Pourrichou.
The glove shop remains in Saint-Junien to this date, upholding the label’s original expertise and craftsmanship.
In order to preserve the traditional techniques of glove-making, Agnelle establishes a production unit in the Phillipines.
Under the direction of Saint-Junien and its workshops, this production unit has allowed for the safekeeping of techniques and arts threatened with disappearing through the transmission of old techniques while offering affordable.
Agnelle works closely with the great fashion houses and ready to wear labels: Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Alaïa, Roger Vivier, Ralph Lauren, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Christopher Kane, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, among others.
These collections adhere to the high standards of the Laboratoire des Matières and attest to the excellence of their craftsmanship and dynamic artistry, a bearer of history steered towards innovation.
Agnelle’s pursues galvanizing partnerships that shape the brand’s vision at each turn: perfume gloves for Guerlain, driving gloves with Veuve Clicquot, an all-leather bandeau with Princess Tam Tam, and fine gloves
Agnelle creates innovative capsule collections in the same line of creativity and savoir-faire, fusing traditional handcraft to the contemporary. Anthony Vaccarello, Cédric Charlier, Véronique Leroy, Wanda Nylon, Marchand Drapier, Jean Charles de Castelbajac and Louis-Gabriel Nouchi have participated in this venture.
Discover the Agnelle brand through the company's timeline
1937 - 1939
Founding of Agnelle by Sophie Grégoire’s great-grandfather, Joseph Pourrichou for his son Lucien. Lucien goes to war and his wife, Marie-Louis, takes control of the operation.
Marie-Louise builds a production facility in the center of Saint-Junien, also known as “The City of the Leather Glove.” At this time, Agnelle is subcontracted to American department stores and the “Dames de France” store chain.
1965 - 1970
Upon her death, Marie-Louise is succeeded by her daughter, Josie Le Royer. Although gloves have fallen out of fashion, by dint of her imagination, daring and innovation, she brings gloves to the high-end market. In the 1970s, these efforts are rewarded with a first collaboration with a high fashion designer: Christian Dior.
1980 - 1983
Ten years later, she wins several prestigious contracts with several great fashion houses, including Yves Saint Laurent, Rodier, Mugler, Montana, Lancel, Charles Jourdan, Phillipe Model and Daniel Hechter.
1985 - 1986
Signing of a distribution license with Christian Dior. Arrival of Sophie Grégoire, daughter of Josie and the fourth generation in the family, at the head of the enterprise.
Two years after her arrival at the head of the business, Sophie Grégoire proves visionary and opens a workshop in the Phillipines, while training employees in Saint-Junien.
Agnelle begins work for Maud Luzon, Chevignon and Agnès B. This same year, Agnelle opens stands in the Galeries Lafayette and at Le Bon Marché.
1990 - 1997
Designers Jil Sander and Calvin Klein enter the list of labels collaborating with Agnelle. Longchamp, Le Tanneur and Cacharel follow. Two years later, Agnelle joins Louis Vuitton in the launch of their ready to wear line and begins a partnership with Christian Lacroix.
1999 - 2001
Sale of Agnelle to leading American glovemaker Well Lamont. The corporation focuses on new technologies and automation. Josie Le Royer leaves the company. New relationships are formed with Gucci, Prada and Sonia Rykiel. The Agnelle fashion house is ultimately reacquired by Sophie Grégoire.
In 2001, the license with Dior stops but Agnelle continues its collaboration with the big House.To help Sophie in her recovery, Galeries Lafayette are organizing an exhibition of 300 m2 in their space.
2002 - 2008
Marc Jacobs and Zilli will in turn join the list of houses working with Agnelle. Followed by Loewe, Celine and Lanvin. APC and Lacoste were added to the impressive catalogue of fashion collaborations.
In 2008, Agnelle exported its know-how to the United States, where Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Ralph Lauren, Rag and Bone and Rick Owens joined the repertoire of companies working with Agnelle.
2010 - 2017
In 2013, Sophie Gregoire was awarded the Insignia of Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honour.
Agnelle signs a long series of collaborations with the younger generation: Anthony Vacarello, today artistic director of the House of Yves Saint Laurent, Johanna Senyk, winner of the Grand Prix de l'Adam with her brand Wanda Nylon, the illustrator from DEDE creating unique pieces by drawing on the gloves, and finally Louis-Gabriel Nouchi, finalist of the Prix d'Hyeres and a former student of La Cambre.
2014 - 2016
New collaborations with Christophe Kane, Balenciaga. Launch of Agnelle by Marie Laurence Stevigny bags.
Azzedine Alaïa, loyal for 20 years, asks Agnelle to make the pair of gloves that Lady Gaga will wear at the Oscars in February 2015.
Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Blitz Motorcycles and Louis Gabriel Nouchi are the three designers with whom Agnelle has worked this year. Agnelle is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a succession of 4 generations, and is above all a family history and a woman's history.
Agnelle returns to its roots by changing its visual identity and logo.