Kleman – Brand History
Kleman Shoes have a legacy for over 75 years. They are an authentic french shoemaker since 1945. Their production remains exclusively carried out in France in their workshop in Anjou.
René Cléon, a shoemaker and bootmaker by profession, was on the front lines during WWII. He was captured during the Battle of France in 1940 and spent 5 years in a Stalag in Germany, where he continued to model little leather shoes in his leisure time. Probably anticipating to return to his birthplace soon, the notion of establishing a shoe manufacturing workshop is gradually taking shape.
In the weeks after his return from the war, he organised a team of apprentices and purchased his first sewing and manufacturing machinery. The tale begins in the family’s house in La Romagne, with a focus on Kneipp stitched mixed models, then expands and a factory is constructed. In the 1970s and 1980s, the sons Jacques and Louis-Marie picked up the torch and expanded the business.
When was the label officially launched?
The KLEMAN label (a contraction of Cléon Manufacture) was formally introduced in 1988. Cléon later became a supplier for various French government agencies that relied on his expertise. The corporation wins progressively substantial contracts, including those from the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer [the French national railway company], Air France, Customs, various fire departments, and even the French army.
Is the brand an authentic workwear style?
KLEMAN shoes have withstood the test of time by providing a raw and real unisex look. Their models will captivate both men and women looking for efficiency in a pure and uncompromising style. Since the 1980s, their PADROR leather tyrolean shoe and other models of boots or derbies have stayed constant. A simple and effective worker shoe that is currently outfitting a new generation of brilliant urban inhabitants all over the world. KLEMAN elevates the professional shoe to the status of true working item.
Is it a sustainable brand?
A lower environmental impact as a result of our proximity to our partners and a deeper dedication to designing healthy and sustainable French shoes.
Is it made in France?
With a tradition of over 75 years, the Cléon manufacturing is known for its technological know-how and high standards in terms of raw material quality and safety. Making shoes in France is an important part of our family’s heritage. But, above all, it is a promise to maintain and sustain French know-how, which is on the verge of extinction.
In its workshop in La Romagne, the Cléon company employs almost 45 employees (Maine-et-Loire). Our shoes are handcrafted by men and women with confident and exact movements in the offices next door by our style team.