Carel

French brand of shoes and prêt-à-porter. The Carel family opened a shop in Paris in 1949 and at the beginning simply sold luxury shoes designed by Séducta and René Cary. The company’s first original models date to 1952 (Babies and Marquis, among many). They immediately won the favor of prestigious clients such as Michèle Morgan, Brigitte Bardot, and Sylvie Vartan, and established the success of the brand. Around 1972 Georges, the founder, was joined by his son Tony (1947) who studied design and shoe manufacturing techniques in Milan. Together they established creative partnerships with many designers (Chantal Thomass, De Castelbajac, Gaultier, Mugler, Beretta) and opened one boutique in Neuilly, two in Paris, and three corner shops in the French department stores Printemps, Parly 2, and Galeries Lafayette. The brand mixes materials and colors: zebra stripes and leopard patterns, multicolor crocodile skin, iridescent plastic, studded leather and leather embellished with strass, or glass paste. During the 1980s, Tony broadened the company’s horizon: he offered a women’s prêt-à-porter line, one marked by masculine influence, and opened another shop, again in Paris, on Avenue Victor Hugo. In the 1990s Carel dressed the working woman, one who needs comfortable clothes but doesn’t want to give up her seductiveness, and therefore wears sandals embroidered with small pearls. In this period two more points-of-sale were opened in Paris: one at Bon Marché, on the rive gauche, and one at Rue du Cercle 13. On average, the company sells 60,000 pairs of shoes a year.