MUCH MORE THAN A LEATHER JACKET MAKER.

Operating since 1832 without stopping makes Chapal one of the oldest fashion company. This is where its savoir-faire comes from. Being family-held, without any investor onboard, grants Chapal its freedom to reach for uncompromising quality. Having its own craftsmen, in-house manufacture and tannery is the best way to achieve it.

1832

In 1832 in the small village of Crocq, Leonard Chapal started a leather tanning and fur making company named after his family name, Chapal. By using processes from the silk industry and applying it on rabbit fur, it created a distinctive result that quickly became famous in the whole country.

1857

The rapid development of the company pushes Chapal in opening an additional manufacture in Montreuil-sous-Bois, near Paris, in addition to the historic one in Crocq. Nowadays, the premises host the company headquarters and the Chapal Foundation with more than 70 artistic residences.

1881

In less than 50 years Chapal managed to build a strong reputation and opened several manufactures. But that was not enough for the visionary Emile Chapal who decided to cross the Atlantic Ocean and settle in Brooklyn. After a few years, four manufactures were opened in the US, bringing Chapal into an international dimension.

1914

As World War I hits across Europe, companies start to contribute to the war effort. If Chapal was primarily a tanner and fur maker, it will start crafting leather garments for French pilots, giving birth to the famous 1914 jacket that was later worn by famous names such as Jean Mermoz and l’Escadrille des Cigognes. This is how the company started developing a new savoir-faire that still makes it international reputation today.

1934

In 1934, in its 50 years old Brooklyn manufacture, Chapal will develop a groundbreaking process that enables to waterproof its leathers. Very soon, the news will catch the attention of the US Army, which is looking to improve the comfort of its aircraft pilots. This will give birth to the famous B3 jacket, using the Chapal waterproof leather.

1963

Pierre Bardinon, the 6th generation at the head of Chapal, brings in his passion for car racing by creating the Mas du Clos racetrack and developing driving gear and accessories. This collection of overalls, helmets, googles and more will quickly develop to become a trademark of the brand nowadays. In 2018, Chapal opened a garage in Crocq for prestigious classic cars, enhancing the strong relationship with collectors and clients.

1972

140 years after its birth in Crocq, Chapal’s savoir faire reputation has become unparalleled among the leather and fur industry. The brand is chosen to create and manufacture official outfits for the Grenoble Winter Olympic games, using for the first time in fashion the plastification process it invented for the B3 jacket. In 1972, it also became Dior’s sole supplier for the leather and fur ready-to-wear, a collaboration that will last for 20 years. This will be the beginning of a strategy that will lead Chapal into the luxury industry.

1982

Just like his six ancestors before him, Jean-François Bardinon takes charge at Chapal and gives the company a new orientation: he creates and designs his first luxury collection inspired by the history of aircraft pilots. His firmly believes that that an integrated sourcing — thanks to the tannery — and French craftsmanship are a unique asset to build on, which was visionary in an era where outsourcing was the norm.

1995

To preserve the heritage of buildings and industrial memory, Montreuil-sous-Bois and Lagny-sur-Marne plants are transformed into art workshop where more than a hundred painters, musicians, sculptors, work everyday. 150 years after they were created, the premises keep the Chapal spirit alive.

2004

Answering an increasing demand for its driving gear, Chapal gets involved in famous vintage car events: 1000 Miglia, Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic, etc. In 2004 Chapal designs and creates a unique fitting for the new Jaguar XKR with leather coverings and special parts. A collaboration that will be renewed in 2011.

Jean-François Bardinon moves his style bureau in his showroom in Paris, on the prestigious rue de Rivoli, 244. This is also a family residence, which enhances the friendly image of Chapal.

2015

2015 is a key date for Chapal, which teams up with Wales Bonner around a capsule collection for the London Fashion Week. The same year, it launches an e-commerce website, partners with British media and e-commerce platform The Rake, and launches Journées Chapal, a classic car prestigious event with Polo de Paris. Also, for the first time since 1832, Chapal presents a collection at Paris Women Fashion Week. All these new developments are the sign of the brands impressive development in the luxury menswear industry.

2020

The late 20s are an exciting period for Chapal. Always improving the customer experience, it opens its classic car mechanic services in Crocq. Chapal also pays tribute to French aircraft pilots by creating the Pilote Français jacket. In the meantime, a museum project is initiated in Crocq to highlight the nearly two-hundred years old history of the company. Many projects and collaborations see the light including the American hat Maker Nick Fouquet. They team up and create a 20 pieces limited biker jacket. In 2020 strikes a pandemic and economic crisis, but like so many times in the past, Chapal fights back and launches a successful Restart campaign and its news website. Almost two hundred years after its creation, the history is still marching on.