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Rodier's story is speckled with several key dates. Its beginnings lie in the heart of the Picardy region in the North of France, with a family of weavers, the Rodiers.
In 1852, the dynasty was founded by none other than Auguste Rodier, a true pioneer, whose weaving techniques made the brand one of the most important material manufacturers, particularly for haute couture. Chosen by Paul Poiret, Chanel, Grès and Dior, the Rodier materials made their footprint in the haute couture industry. Jersey, a very finely knitted material, named after the island where it has been produced since the Middles Ages, became Rodier's hallmark.
In 1916, Gabrielle Chanel joined forces with Jacques Rodier for her creative research: she was the first to use this material, traditionally reserved for underwear, to make comfortable clothing. In a time in which corsets were disappearing, skirts were becoming shorter and trousers, which had until then been forbidden for women, were appearing, Rodier took part in a revolution of comfort. Sportswear made its first appearances in holiday destinations such as Deauville and Biarritz…
In 1954, illustrator Gruau, famous for his illustrations in magazines such as L’Officiel de la mode, Fémina, Harper’s Bazaar, and his contributions to the New Look of Christian Dior, gave Rodier its colours: red, black and white became the flags of the brand. The Italian aristocrat's son, who dreamed of becoming an architect, changed the six powerful and very iconic letters of the brand's logo into capitals, in a complete transformation.
In 1954, KASHA fabric, with a softness comparable to cashmere, made from a unique blend of merino wool and acrylic, marked Rodier's step into modern life. It was machine washable (the first automatic washing machine was created two years later) and shrink-resistant. Thanks to meticulous work to reduce sleeves and restitch hemlines, all deformations are avoided. Rodier progressed in tune with an era full of movement, infatuated by travels and the unknown, of a rate of consumption and pace different to the structures of the post-war period. In 1956, Dalida brightened up the French music with Bambino, Gloria Lasso sang Adieu Lisbonne and Piaf ignited TSF with « L’homme à la moto »: «he wore breeches, motorbike boots, a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back… » Elvis Presley released his first album, the first rock'n'roll album to reach n°1 in the American charts. And Cecil B de Mille prevailed in the cinema with « The Ten Commandments».
Or only few pieces did, with « separable pieces » being made, for example, by Hubert de Givenchy. It was not until Yves Saint Laurent and the beginnings of the Rive Gauche in 1966 that real ready-to-wear haute couture was born. However, Rodier innovated with a range of knitwear in the colours of the time: with round-neck jumpers and the famous twin-sets that a whole generation wore while dancing the twist. …A legend was born. The Rodier materials transformed into a ready-to-wear brand. Jacques Rodier's brilliant idea was to offer little tops that all women dreamt of; these twin-sets consisting of matching cardigans and jumpers, that the new Mademoiselle Age Tendre followers wore with their pearls and back-combed hair, to go out and timidly sway their hips along to the rhythms of Johnny, Sheila or Sylvie Vartan. The twin-set was to the yeah! yeah! years what the little black dress was to the twenties, and the corolla skirt to the forties: a new classic. With Rodier, it would be carried over time.
In 1961, Rodier curly wool was used to make a Christian Dior suit worn by Jacky Kennedy. The American « First lady » marked her « years at the White House » with elegance that would become iconic; the famous « easy-to-copy style ». With her little cropped trousers that she wore with cropped twin-sets, with crew-neck jumpers that she never failed to match with her skirts, with her dignity and grace she became iconic on screens across the world.
1966 was an important date for Rodier, as they crossed the 2 million items per year sales threshold. The twin-sets became cherished possessions of new wave actresses, all women adored them. They embodied French seduction. Following this success, Rodier developed its ready-to-wear range and offered a full, head to toe wardrobe, with everything needed for the weekdays to the weekend.
The eighties marked the birth of the versatile, free woman. Rodier dressed these woman in its knitwear colours and in ready-to-wear items from its advertising campaigns, featuring Linda Evangelista, Marie France Pisier, and even Valérie Kaprisky, « They placed their faith in Rodier». More and more women wore turtle-necks under their shoulder-padded trouser suits, wearing them as their new favourites for trips into town.
under the patronage of Samy Marciano, owner of Folia and specialist in knitwear. Rodier entered a new universe, marked by more modern models and a new range of colours.
In 2005, the twin-set was recreated with its original material and original interior label design.
In 2012, a new style was launched, with Emilie Luc Duc as the artistic director. Her goal: to remain connected to Rodier's « history » : « I dug deep into the archives, stopped for a moment and began work focusing on maintaining these two pillars, knitted textiles and colour. I left the rest behind ». (Journal du Textile, 8 November 2011). The Rodier style combines the new desires of femininity, romanticism and edgy seduction.
In 2016, Rodier's internet website was launched, keeping up to date, as always, with the changes of the time. New concepts, new images, new set-up: the Rodier style fits those who, above all, search for new and internal pieces, with natural softness and comfort. With a strong base of over 73, 000 clients, Rodier enjoys an established reputation and real love from all those it dresses, from fathers to sons, mothers to daughters, under its shared, universal values, producing for others since 1852.