REVOLUTIONARY: THEN AND NOW

21 June 2017

EMPREINTE, Craftsman corsetry designer for over 70 years

Empreinte was founded in 1946 in the aptly-named French city of Brest. As the son of a pharmacist with training in medical bandages and supports, the founder Jean Le Her was often approached for help by pharmacy customers suffering from pain caused by their larger busts. Le Her teamed up with a seamstress who had a passion for lingerie, and by combining his technical ingenuity with her design skills, they were able to create bras in cup sizes A to C. This was revolutionary at the time, offering women bras that fitted their individual body shape.

Empreinte was a big hit and to make the most of the 1950s fashion for pointy busts, the company expanded its team and moved to larger premises. The 1970s were marked by women’s liberation and the emancipation of the body; Empreinte stopped making constricting girdles and added its first swimwear collection to the range. This, too, met with great success.

In 1998, the company was taken over by Philippe Berthaux who injected a new dynamism by updating the style and driving forward the brand’s international growth. French Style and a Unique Fit, the ideal combination for conquering markets in search of body-sculpting, refined garments.

2012 saw Empreinte open its first wholly-owned boutique, the Atelier Lingerie in Paris, and innovative concept store, showcasing its brand values. Others were to follow in Lille in 2013 and Strasbourg in 2015.

Empreinte has been a patron of the Musée d’Orsay since 2013, sponsoring events that promote women. The connections between art and the brand’s innovative artisanal spirit have become more apparent through the years.

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