Danton: French ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ Meets Japanese Craftsmanship
DANTON certainly has all the hallmarks of a Japanese workwear brand with the lightweight garments, a focus on fabrics and an attention to detail that borders on obsessive. Not to mention the brand’s explosion of popularity within Japanese clothing communities all over the country. So you might be surprised to hear (if the brands logo hadn’t already given it away) that the brand is actually French. In fact, its origins can be traced back to a small workshop in the French countryside region of Chatres sur Cher. So how did DANTON end up making such a splash in Japan from it’s humble beginnings in rural France?
Before making it’s way over 9,000km to the streets of Osaka and Tokyo; let’s retrace our steps. It all began in 1935 with one Mr Gabriel DANTON deciding to purchase shares in his sisters company ‘Manufacture Textile du Centere’ (M.T.C), Mr Danton who since becoming the manager of the company in 1935, swiftly renamed the company to DANTON. He also trademarked the eye-catching red logo, which is still used today. In terms of the clothing being produced, little has changed since the re-branding in 1935. They focused on traditional French workwear favourites such as overalls, work jackets, work trousers and even aprons, almost all of which can still be seen in the brands collections today. The goods were sold as wholesale items from their office and warehouse located at 4o rue Croix des Petits Champs, Paris. Eventually the workshop in Chatre sur Cher closed but DANTON was amendment in keeping production in France; first in Flers in the 90s and Le Lude by the 00’s which perhaps has been part of the brands appeal to workwear style lovers in Japan and all over the world. During the 1970s they even supplied clothing to French public administrations such as the city of Paris and public utilities like R.A.T.P (Parisian metro) and S.N.C.F (French Railways), further solidifying their workwear heritage.
This dedication to workwear and traditional designs was eventually picked up by the Japanese market, spearheaded by Boy’s CO. LTD who are now the brands exclusive distributor in Japan and worldwide. Howeverthe brand’s French origins are still strong with unconstructed chore jackets, the muted colour palettes and that ‘je ne sais quoi’thing that it seems only French brands are able to do at the heart of all their collections.
DANTON then, bridges the gap between the two perfectly marrying understated French flair and the obsessive dedication to quality that Japanese brands demonstrate so well. Here at Stuarts London we are excited to, help carry on the heritage of a brand with such a rich history and are really impressed with merging of the two cultures and the craftsmanship which is produced as a result.