The Devernois brand’s history is primarily the story of three generations of a family passionately devoted to the company.
It all began in the 1920s when Claudius Devernois took a gamble and set up knitting machines in the Roanne region in France, even through the trend at the time was for weaving.
A visionary from the outset, he created a brand that is still a landmark in the world of French fashion today.
He met with instant success and his company, which initially had just three employees, grew very quickly.
Its first collections were in men's Fair Isle knits, but the company soon spread its wings and in the 1950s it launched lines for women and children including flagship garments such as the unforgettable "étoile des neiges" (star of the snow) pullover, Devernois's answer to the growing passion for winter sports at the time.
Henri-George Clouzot's film La Vérité or The Truth came out in 1960 and starred the international sex symbol Brigitte Bardot, who made a dramatic appearance sensually buttoning a Devernois cardigan up her back.
The 1960s also saw the arrival of the second generation at Devernois with the dream team Pierre Boël, Jean-Bernard Devernois and Zélia Boël. Theybreathed new life into the brand's retail network and embraced a quintessential Sixties style.
With the 1970s the brand moved into export, closed the Menswear and Childrenswear lines.
They introduced emblematic collections with long skirts featured alongside maxi dresses in radiantly colourful prints and platform shoes!
The 1980s brought beautiful photographic collaborations with the likes of Gilles Simon and André Carra.
Devernois made a big splash in 1987 by presenting a preview of its Autumn-Winter collection on television.
The famous slogan ‘En Devernois, je suis moi’, or ‘in Devernois, I am me’, was introduced in the 1990s and made a lasting impression on the company’s communications and image.
The decade also saw hitherto-unknown young models Linda Evangelista and Rosemary McGrotha appear in Devernois advertising campaigns.
The next generation of the family arrived in the 1990s as well, with Claudius Devernois’s granddaughter Séverine and her husband Thierry Brun. Séverine brought a younger look to the collections while Thierry developed the business to seize new commercial opportunities.