Vintage Luxury Houses: the grandeur and decadence of Maison Revillon


That cute “R” on that brooch, don't you know what it is? “R” for Revillon a forgotten luxury house but which was grandiose in its time, having notably been the birthplace of Karl Lagarfeld. The rise and fall of a French luxury house, we tell you that here.

REVILLON FRÈRES is a French company founded in 1839 (during the July Monarchy) and whose origins, MAISON GIVELET, go back to 1723 (we are under Louis XIV)! Former fur trader, it will become a fashion house until 1982. This is where things get tough.

Let's resume.

Louis Victor Revillon moved to Rue de Rivoli in Paris in the 1840s where he worked hard. In 1871 he opened in Regent Street (bravo Louis Victor 👏🏼), in 1880 on 5th Avenue in New York 🗽(inappropriate emoji because the statute of liberty will not arrive in NYC until 6 years later).

At this time, therefore, the doors are opening wide for the House all over the world.

 The company even receives the gold medal at the universal exhibition ????

In the 30s, the House was essential, it had 3000 employees in its Parisian workshops and was distributed in 15 countries. ???? (without internet!). At the height of its influence, Revillon is a complete fashion house: fashion, leather goods, perfumes, jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear.

Everything went well until 1982, when the company was bought by the Belgian group Cora, a hyper-market brand. The group becomes Cora-Revillon. 

Cora's slogan in France was then “Count on us, Cora”. 

Revillon is going to be dismembered (a shame for a former fur specialist, #karma?). Perfumes (including Caron, whom you surely know for having smelled “for a man” on your dad) and the Karl Lagarfeld brand (which you know very well) are sold at LT Priver, fur and ready-to-wear go to Yves Solomon.

The last boutique of the Revillon fashion house will open in 2012, at 40 avenue Montaigne. She will focus on cosmetic and eyewear lines. There is now an Yves Salomon at 40 avenue Montaigne.

Wearing vintage is all that for us. It is to discover treasures, to be curious, to understand their history, to bring them back to life for a moment. It is remembering what things were, and at the same time understanding that things will not stay as they are. A Chanel brooch is exchanged between 300 and 1000 euros today, until when?

We shot the Revillon brooch a stone's throw from Rue de Rivoli, where Louis Victor opened the first Revillon boutique, 180 years before our photo.


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