For nearly three decades one name was synonymous with stylish men’s footwear: Carvil. In the 50s, 60s, and 70s, icons like Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, and Bob Dylan all sported the brand’s signature styles. In the decades that followed Carvil fell off the map to an extent, but the brand is now poised for a comeback. A combination of continued style and new leadership spells success for Parisian shoemaker Carvil.
Founded in 1952 by Henri Lederman, Carvil settles in the Rue Royale in Paris and opens its shop on Rue Pierre Charron of the same year, in the heart of the Parisian Golden Triangle.
From this auspicious beginning, Carvil’s popularity grew quickly. Famous French actors like Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo made a name for the brand in France. Cary Grant, Charles Bronson, and Bob Dylan brought interest in the brand across the Atlantic in the 1960s. Suddenly, one shoemaker was associated with dandies, playboys and rock and rollers.
Artistic Director Frank Charriaut
The 1980s began a bit of a decline in Carvil’s popularity, something Frank Charriaut intends to change. Charriaut served as footwear and accessories designer for Chanel for a decade. Three years ago he made the move to become Artistic Director for Carvil. Charriaut hopes to reinvigorate customers’ interest in the company’s luxury shoes by rebuilding the brand’s connection between tradition and fashion. He is bringing back some of the brand’s signature shoes in the finest materials.
These are some of our favorite classic Carvil shoes.
Named after the Basque Coast city, these loafers are inspired by a model from the Maison’s archives. A new birth is given to these evening shoes providing unequalled wearing comfort. Made in Italy, with the help of a Blake stitch mounting, the whole piece is covered with night sky coloured suede leatherwear… as if bringing time to a standstill!
We can easily imagine that Hollywood icon and all-around stylish man Cary Grant would have worn these loafers. You can own a pair of these luxurious midnight blue velour loafers for 465,00€ ($554).
Named after the name of the artist Bob Dylan who was an unconditional fan of this model, the ankle boot Bob Dylan has emerged as a classic Carvil piece. Retro on one hand with its history, and modern on the other hand with its sleek lines, the model is made in Italy with a stitched mounting. The lambskin leather used offers suppleness and a perfect fit, signature details of the house. Today, the Dylan is a legendary piece with a subtle Rock’N’Roll style and modernity that remains across the ages.
Henri Lederman designed the brand’s Dylan boot in the late 60s as an homage to the impossibly cool artist. Purchase your own Dylan boots for 580,00€ ($690).
The RIVIERA model gets its name from the Mediterranean coastal region that enchants with its summery atmosphere. Here, the brogue shoes with floral toes, crafted in calfskin leather and kid leather in our Italian studios, reveal with elegance a signature Blake stitch mounting. Its vamp is made in a duo of materials in warm shades, bringing comfort and lightness by their union.
It does not get more dapper than these ever-so-slightly two-toned brogues. The calfskin and kid velour shoes will set you back 425,00€ ($506).
Pulled from the dusty archives of the Maison, these buckle derbies GILLI set the tone with their seventies-inspired DNA. Elaborated in a burgundy calfskin leather and set on a sole with a Blake stitch mounting, the Italy-made model reveals a slightly more sleek line to that of its ancestor with its slender toe, giving way to a resolutely modern piece.
If you only invest in one pair of Carvil shoes, it should be their Gilli derby shoe. You can wear this particular shoe with a casual suit or a button-down and khakis. Add a pair to your wardrobe for 495,00€ ($590).
Here, the LAURENT slippers have been conceived in Italy set on a Blake stitch mounting sole. Covered with Alligator skin, the model enhanced with a leather strip with cut-out on the vamp, is the signature of a unique piece where the classic codes of the Carvil house make their mark on the contemporary appeal of these shoes.
When you are ready to hit peak dandy, you are ready for a pair of Laurent alligator slippers. These absolutely gorgeous shoes exude class. Own your own for 1645,00€ ($1,960).
We are incredibly excited for the resurgence of interest in Carvil. We see great things in the company’s future under the leadership of Frank Charriaut. So, tell us, do you own a pair of stylish Carvil shoes? Need more ideas for dad this Father’s Day? Try this list from Kristen Taekman.