James Dean in 1955 wearing the iconic Armor Lux fisherman stripe shirt.

Armor Lux – A French Institution

Armor Lux is a bit of a French institution, the Bonneterie d’Armor was founded in Quimper by Walter Hubacher aged 31 in 1938, this Swiss man of Alemannic origin made a bet to create and produce high-quality underwear under the Armor Lux brand. In 1940 he bought his first knitting machine which started to change the way they operated and made the whole business more streamlined in 1970 they produced their first ready-to-wear collection, developing the iconic fisherman stripe which still influences the range today, many iconic designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Coco Chanel started putting the famous stripe in their collections with film stars also adopting the famous striped jersey including Kirk Douglas, James Dean and Brigitte Bardot

The iconic stripe has a rich French history going back over 300 years when each family or region of France had its own unique pattern (like Scottish tartan) which would be worn by the local fisherman, as the stripes were still visible in the sea and could be used to spot them easily if they went overboard.

The French merchant navy hired Fisherman and each of the uniquely designed striped looked disorganised, so in 1858 the Navy made a decree that all shirts have to have 21 stripes, this was to denote the number of battles won by Napoleon. The sleeves had 15 or 16 white stripes and the stripe ration was two or three white and one to three colour. This became the classic Navy uniform that everyone associate with the French Navy and the odd onion seller!

Now the classic stripe all looks similar but Armor Lux is now only one of two manufactures left who make this in France, with its own unique identity of fine fabrics, which are all dyed and knitted in their own factory in Quimper. Whilst Armor Lux remains rooted in workwear and manufactures for large French companies including state-owned entities, each season they still produce a fashion collection which is unmistakably Armor Lux.

Yards Store is proud to support this great French institution and you will find the classic Breton stripe, as well as the lovely fisherman smock sweat, the classic stripe Armor Lux heavy gauge knitwear or the classic wool peacoat jacket all available here.