(Bohata et Cie, Lorenzo, Soco, Upla, Le Tanneur)
Founded : 1980
Activities : Leather and imitations, and goods made of these materials; animal skins, hides; trunks and traveling bags; umbrellas, parasols; whips, harness and saddlery.
Parent Company : Orcofi Holdings
Stockists : International
Origin : 12 Rue de l’Argonne 75019 Paris, France
Between 1989 and 1991, Orcofi established an impressive portfolio in the luxury sector. They acquired leather conglomerate Andrelux Industries (Bohata et Cie, Lorenzo, Soco, Upla, Le Tanneur). Andrelux was founded in early 1980 and had achieved sales of over $700 million by 1992. With the help of financial partners, Hervé Descottes recovers the operation of Andrelux SA and Andrelux Industrie that own the rights of brands LE TANNEUR and SOCO. He then sets up the joint-stock company (société anonyme) LE TANNEUR & CIE. On May 18, 2011, Qatar Luxury Group – Fashion S.P.C., organized under the law of Qatar, bought all shares owned by the family group Descottes, the joint-stock company (SAS) D&P PME IV and the private limited company (SARL) Saint Germain Participations. Grégory Couillard becomes Chairman of the Board, to replace Hervé Descottes who keeps his mandate as CEO.
In 1895, Charles Bonnardelle creates the brand LE TANNEUR. He revolutionizes leather goods with his clever invention of the “seamless” money purse. In 1900, the company opens an enormous production facility employing 70 workers: the 1st deluxe leather goods company is born. During the World Fair of 1900 in Paris, LE TANNEUR captures the hearts of visitors and professionals who award it a Silver Medal. Building on this success, the brand opens two stores in Paris on the Grands Boulevards. Customers can now buy the famous LE TANNEUR money purses, billfolds, bicycle bags, handbags and briefcases, all “seamless”. The brand keeps expanding and opens stores in France’s largest cities: Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille, and in holiday resorts like Vichy.
In 1914, LE TANNEUR, renowned for the quality of its products, is chosen to supply French soldiers with sacks, straps, boots, gaiters and leggings. During the roaring 20s, LE TANNEUR is bursting with creativity and launches numerous fashionable accessories in leather for women and for men. To boost sales even further, the brand launches its “gift items made to last a lifetime”. LE TANNEUR, and its fine, elegant and durable products, enter the privacy of the French public and become an unforgettable brand of quality.
Once the aftermath of WWII is past, LE TANNEUR dares and innovates on the commercial side with a strikingly original idea. In 1955 it sets up hundreds of roadside posters throughout France to send a message to the emerging motorist population: “LE TANNEUR: beautiful gifts in leather”. To top off this unique campaign, LE TANNEUR edits a series of catalogues, with printing runs of up to one million in 1970. Its product lines of leather goods, 750 deluxe articles in total, are at the heart of French lifestyle.
In 1963, General Charles de Gaulle visits Belley and receives a magnificent desk set in box-calf and a jewelry case in leather for his wife. In the 70s, leather goods retailers literally battle for exclusive rights to LE TANNEUR products because they know that selling “beautiful gifts in leather” by a brand that is so popular with the French means assured success. 75 years after its founding, LE TANNEUR has carefully built a national reputation that depends as much on its savoir faire as on its unflagging respect for leather.
SOCO, founded in 1932, shows both dynamism and impudence. In the 80s, SOCO shakes up the market with a recognizable style and attractive colors, especially in its emblematic line, “San Diego”. A huge success that forged the identity of the brand.