Limoges shoemaker GM Weston reissues a tennis shoe created in 1938

JM Weston, a luxury shoe maker headquartered in Haute-Vienne, has just launched a brand new… of basketball! This was while browsing the 1938 issue of the magazine AdamJ.M. Weston’s art director and fashion historian, Olivier Seilard, discovered the existence of factory-made tennis shoes, the bible on men’s fashion.

Then he undertook to modernize it and logically baptized it “1938”. The retro-look gingham basketball, in the color “mud”, was produced in a limited edition Roland-Garros Championship before being made available in other colors.

Made of breathable canvas and lined with calfskin, it’s light and functional with a cork sole and rubber straps. “In a world where we put on and take off our shoes often, people appreciate not having to tie their shoes systematically,” Mark Dorey notes.

Thus, the company, which he has headed since 2021, revives an old tradition. In the 1920s, the famous brand created tennis or golf shoes before focusing on leather and achieving the success we know…

Over the years, this know-how faded like a sole on asphalt.

Dozens of people were trained in Limoges

“We were a sneaker brand and lost that heritage over time to focus on leather from the 50s and 60s. But tennis is part of our DNA,” said GM Weston President.

But we may be called Weston, but making stylish and comfortable sneakers is no easy feat. To introduce this new paradigm, it was still necessary to relearn this lost knowledge. The company was inspired, as it did in espadrilles in Spain, from a company that specializes in basketball in Portugal with which a partnership has been established.

The company invested in machinery and trained about ten people for 700 hours in the side seam technique. And part of the production, which was carried out in Portugal, was returned to the factories in Limoges, in the northern region, where the head office is located.

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40 million euros in turnover

Passé par Louis Vuitton, Louboutin ou encore Yves Saint-Laurent, Marc Durie, nommé en 2021 à la présidence de JM Weston, compte développer ce secteur porteur, dont les premiers modèles, les “On Time” on été mis en vente il ya 4 Years. The frenzy of these shoes, both elegant and casual, and the quality and diversity of the products offered, have enabled the company to achieve 15% of its turnover in this sector of activity, which amounts to 40 million euros. Since mid-March, 2,000 pairs of “1938” and “Chasse on time” shoes have been produced in Limoges.

Models that, like their big leather sisters, can be repaired and designed in the workshop. 15,000 pairs of shoes are repaired here every year. In theory, the life of Westons, thanks to these technologies and the quality of the materials, is very long. Including sneakers,” the president notes.

In numbers. Those sneakers, City Sneakers, account for 50% of shoe sales in 2021, compared to 26% in 2015, according to figures from the French Shoe Federation.

excellent For the founder of Uniqua in Limoges, “Basketball is the shoe of the century”

Frank Laguerre

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