The Chantelle Group is a French lingerie company originally founded in 1876 by Messieurs, Gamichon and Kretz. The brand name “Chantelle” was adopted in the 1950s.
The company’s headquarters are situated in Cachan on the outskirts of Paris, and garments are manufactured in various Chantelle owned facilities across Europe, North Africa and Eastern Asia.
The Chantelle Group exists over three brand names; Chantelle, Passionata (created in the late 80s), and Darjeeling (created in 1995).
1876: The company that would become Chantelle is founded at the end of the 19th century, 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. It’s a first!
The 1930s: The launch of the “little black dress” by Chanel in American Vogue in 1926 frees women’s figures, leading them 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 born 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, becomes a must-have with its famous 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 Épernay in the Champagne region, thus marking the culmination of the career of Jean Kretz, who had been heavily involved in its design.
The 1970s: The wind of freedom blowing through society leads Chantelle to launch the “Défi” model (1972) on the market, the very first molded bra providing real support while offering a natural effect.
The 1980s: Working women claim a new, more confident expression of femininity. Chantelle dares to go see-through and offers plunging necklines with the “Vertige” model (1983).
The 1990s: Sculpture of the body with an androgynous vibe and seduction for everyone thanks to Lycra and push-up bras!
The 2000s: The fashion is for a perfect body and an obsession with discretion. It marks the advent of invisible products and the internationalization of T-Shirt bras. The “Women of the World” campaign highlights the “Africa” and “Graphie” lines.
The 2010s: The fashion is more casual with technologies offering freedom of movement and comfort. Lingerie turns towards a more fluid, lightweight style, thanks to the Spacer and Memory foam innovations.
The Chantelle brand
Chantelle positions itself as an architect of the body, which puts its corset making expertise to the service of women’s beauty. The products are designed in their proportions and volumes to enhance the female body with a rigorous, daring approach. Over and above the physical benefits sought, Chantelle emphasizes precise cuts and infuses the idea of freedom, style and well-being for women.
The Chantelle Group
The Chantelle Group offers different lingerie brands on an international scale: Chantelle, Chantal Thomass, Passionata, Darjeeling, and Femilet. It deploys its expertise linked to showcasing the beauty of the female body and its know-how in all sectors of activity from design to distribution. The Chantelle Group is committed to respect for women through operations such as La Flamme Marie Claire, which promotes girls’ schooling around the world.
The Chantelle experience
Chantelle expresses itself above all as a unique and innovative brand that offers women the opportunity to express the different facets of their femininity. The brand positions itself as an expert that allows its clientele to benefit from its know-how and knowledge of the female body.
The sales assistants, identified as ambassadors of the brand and its corset making expertise, are trained to listen to customers and, during the fittings in the changing room, recommend them lingerie sets that will show off their figures best.
The Chantelle spirit: French Style
The brand positions itself as a representative of French Style, the attitude, look, spontaneity and “je ne sais quoi” of Parisian women.
Since 1876, Chantelle has developed its expertise, seeing its members of staff pass on their “skills”, “tips”, “know-how” and “sharp eye” over time and from generation to generation. Its designs are inspired by a couture feel, while maintaining the comfort of everyday underwear designed using fine materials. The fittings are done with precision and adjustments made down to the finest detail.
Every season, Chantelle offers a color palette for its collection in line with trends. The brand’s designers regularly renew their inspiration based on the concept of concentrated style and graphic elegance put to the service of women’s beauty.
1970: The Fête model in Calais lace meets with instant success and over a million will be sold every year for several years.
1972: Introduction of the “Défi” model onto the market – the very first molded, seamless, bra, prioritizing good support for the bust.
1982: Launch of the “Les chéris” collection, which evokes a new style of seduction.
1983: Chantelle dares to go see-through and offers a plunging neckline with “Vertige” supported by a campaign by Jacques Séguéla.
1996: Influenced by its American market, Chantelle launches its first T-Shirt bras with the “Essensia” line.
1999: The “Hedona” molded bra meets women’s new expectations.
2005: Launch of “Africa”, an iconic new line for the brand – a real global success.
2013: Chantelle launches its first Swimwear collection for the Spring/Summer season.
The Chantelle Woman
2007: Stephanie Seymour shot by Peter Lindbergh
2010: Tatjana Patitz shot by Sylvie Lancrenon
2011 – 2012: Enikő Mihalik shot by Camilla Akrans
2013: Maryna Linchuk and Robyn Lawley shot by Greg Kadel
Iconic advertising campaigns
1950: The pin-up designed by Pierre-Laurent Brenot with the iconic slogan “the girdle that stays in place.”
1956: Advertising campaign that shows the dancing silhouette of a woman wearing Chantelle whose image divides like a reflection, nude – shot by Deval.
1959: Chantelle obtains the first prize at the Cannes International Advertising Film Festival for its film Fugue.
1972: “Fête” television and press campaign by Chantelle.
1978: “Défi” television and press campaign by Chantelle.
1984: “Chantelle loves breasts” press, poster and television campaign.
1988: “Chantelle, your underwear wardrobe” campaign – lingerie joins the fashion discussion on par with other items of clothing.
1993: “It’s perhaps a detail, but it’s a Chantelle” campaign – the fashion returns for uplifted busts – it’s an opportunity for Chantelle to communicate about one of its strengths: charming support.
2004 – 2007: The “Chantelle Paris dresses the women of the world” campaign affirms Chantelle’s international leadership – shot by Thierry Desmarquet.
2007: “Beyond beauty” campaign with top model Stephanie Seymour- shot by Peter Lindbergh.