Charvet is the eminent French gentleman’s tailor, responsible for the bespoke shirting, sleepwear and evening garments of heads of state, aristocrats and literary figures from Verlaine to Baudelaire. Open since the mid-19th century on the famed Place Vendôme in Paris, Charvet is renowned for its array of colourful fabrics in innumerable, opulent patterns for silk ties, dress shirts, luxurious pyjama sets and the dandy accessories of a bygone era. Its logo is a sun device, designed by Jules Hardouin- Mansart to ornate the handrails of the balconies of the Place Vendôme in honour of the Sun king, Louis XIV. Founded by Joseph-Christophe Charvet, the son of Napoleon’s linenkeeper, it was kept in his family until purchased by Denis Colban in 1965. His children Anne-Marie and Jean-Claude continue his legacy today.
From 1912 onwards, as the Art Deco style came to prominence, the Maison Charvet commissioned exclusive textile designs by the painter Raoul Dufy, who illustrated the joyous form of a prancing elephant decorated in a blanket and headdress. For the first time Dufy’s elephant adorns the breastpocket of the Charvet smoking jacket in dense silk velvet, celebrating a stylish marriage of French and Thai culture.