A pioneer in manufacturing elastic knits, the Chantelle brand grew thanks to the ‘Kretz tulle’ used first in its corsets, then in its bras. The company has been owned by the Kretz family since the 1900s.
- 1876: The company that would become Chantelle is founded at the end of the 19th century, as a manufacturer of elastic knits.
- The 1900s: At the time, women’s figures are still tightly corseted in dresses with a train. Maurice Kretz, François Auguste Gamichon’s nephew, begins to manufacture corsets made of elastic fabrics in 1902.
- The 1930s: The launch of the “little black dress” by Chanel in Vogue magazine in 1926 leads many women to “abandon” their corsets. Jean Kretz, a textile engineer and Maurice Kretz’s son, refines the weaving methods and launches “Kretz tulle”, an elastic fabric.
- The 1940s: Claude Kretz, who has joined his father in the company, uses “Kretz tulle” to manufacture the first girdles. The Chantelle brand is first used in 1949.
- The 1950s: New Look silhouettes, wasp waists and pneumatic breasts appear; their icon is the American actress Mae West. The Chantelle girdle, suppler and lighter than the corset, launches with the slogan: “Chantelle, the girdle that stays in place.”
- The 1960s: On the eve of ready-to-wear, Chantelle launches its first bras under the impulse of Claude Kretz. In 1962, Chantelle opens its first bra manufacturing plant in Epernay in the Champagne region.
- The 1970s: Chantelle launches the “Défi” model in 1972, the very first molded bra.
- The 1980s: Chantelle launches the risque “Vertige” model in 1983, one of the first see-through and plunging neckline bras.
- The 2000s: Chantelle moves toward invisible products and T-shirt bras. Its “Women of the World” campaign highlights the “Africa” and “Graphie” lines.
- The 2010s: Chantelle launches a more casual line, based on technologies offering freedom of movement and comfort, like Spacer and Memory foam innovations.