Lacemaker Eugène Hallette founds the Maison Hallette in Caudry with six Leavers weaving looms. It is the third largest weaver in a city with one hundred and forty lacemakers and almost four hundred looms. His widow succeeds him in 1898 and continues to develop the factory.
By the 1880s, Caudry and Calais laces, especially the creations from Maison Riechers Marescot, are known around the world and adorn elegant women in the courts of Russia and England.
At age twenty-three, Etienne Lescroart buys the Veuve Eugène Hallette establishment. He builds an office and workshops on the property to house new looms. The development of Maison Hallette continues. In 1952, there are fifty employees.
Haute couture designers like Christian Dior, Marcel Rochas, Jeanne Lanvin, Pierre Balmain, Carven… adore Caudry and Calais laces and tulles for their unique creations.
Collection Riechers Marescot
Christian Dior & Jeanne Lanvin
In November, Marilyn Monroe is seen in a white bustier dress made of lace from the Hallette workshops. The house’s first international recognition!
Jackie Kennedy, America’s First Lady, appears at an event wearing a black Leavers lace mantilla from Establishment Hallette and is photographed by Look magazine.
American actress Elizabeth Taylor owns dresses in black, pearl gray and pale pink Leavers lace from the Riechers Marescot collection.
Bruno Lescroart joins his father Etienne and becomes president in 1985, bringing new momentum to Sophie Hallette as it develops internationally and asserts its creative impact. In 2000 Bruno’s son Romain joins the family business, confidently propelling the house into the future and becoming head of the company in 2013. In 2003, his sister Maud comes on board and over time relaunches the brand, structures the house’s creative possibilities, develops its renown and explores new territories.
Establishment Hallette opens the “Dentelle Sophie” presentation space in Paris’ Bourse neighborhood that today is the company’s showroom. In the late 1960s, the house has even more haute couture and luxury ready-to-wear clients. The showroom is renovated in 2007 to highlight the collections and the company becomes a patron for prestigious fashion schools worldwide.
The workshop moves to the larger Mélayers establishment in Caudry. This former tulle factory, acquired by Bruno Lescroart, has bobbinet tulle looms that will be patiently restored over the next ten years. The quality of the tulle they produce has an extremely fine, resistant weave with an incomparable, handcrafted beauty. Sophie Hallette’s mastery of techniques, industrial heritage and experienced workers allow it to monitor each step of creation and manufacturing in lace and tulle production. The house becomes one of the world’s leading producers of bobbinet tulle.
Thanks to the initiative of Bruno Lescroart, Sophie Hallette acquires the « La Caudrésienne » dyeing house. Founded in 1898, this company perfected the art of embellishing and coloring laces for haute couture, ready-to-wear and lingerie.
Sophie Hallette acquires the prestigious Riechers Marescot company whose history is intimately linked with fashion. It is known worldwide for sumptuous laces used by international haute couture designers and high-end ready-to-wear companies. Still produced in Calais, its entire collection is now part of Sophie Hallette.
Sophie Hallette buys the Calais company EuroDentelle, a specialist in weaving lingerie lace on Leavers looms. The house is now equipped to meet the needs of top French and international luxury lingerie brands.
After acquiring Lace Clipping in Calais – a company that clips and scallops lace - the Sophie Hallette purchases Manufacture de Dentelle de Caudry (MDC), an enterprise that produces garment and upholstery lace. Its vast pattern archive, valuable looms and skilled workshops enrich the heritage of Sophie Hallette.
On April 29 Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, marries Prince William in Westminster Cathedral, London, wearing an Alexander McQueen dress made of the House of Sophie Hallette lace. Thanks to the “marriage of the century” seen by 2 billion television spectators, Sophie Hallette proudly becomes part of History.
On September 27 for the world’s most “glamorous” marriage in Venice, the beautiful Amal Alamuddin becomes Mrs. George Clooney in an Oscar de la Renta dress of white lace from Sophie Hallette.