In the "city of the leather glove" in Saint-Junien in Limousin, Joseph Pourricou, director of the Limousin paper mills - great-grandfather of Sophie Grégoire, today at the helm - created the glove workshop in 1937 for his son Lucien.
Josie Le Royer
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.
Her efforts have been rewarded:
2010: Veuve Cliquot Businesswoman Prize,
2011: Knight's insignia in the National Order of the Legion of Honour,
2012: KBL Richelieu Grand Prize for the Entrepreneur of Values