Petit Bateau celebrates its 130th anniversary on the water
On Saturday June 3, to celebrate its 130th anniversary, Petit Bateau will drop anchor in the Ourcq Canal and take over the Pavillon des Canaux. A well-known location in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, where the canal inspector used to live, back when all the locks where done by hand.
The French brand has planned a day of festivities open to the public, ranging from photocalls to T-shirt customisations and free boat rides. Petit Bateau will also be collecting second-hand clothes, and orchestrating two fashion shows on the water at 12pm and 4.30pm.
Petit Bateau was created in 1893 in Troyes, when Pierre Valton opened a factory specialising in underwear which he named Valton et fils. In 1918, Etienne Valton, Pierre's son, who was inspired by his wife who hummed "Maman les p'tits bateaux qui vont sur l'eau ont-ils des jambes? (Mama, the little boats that go on the water do they have legs?)," invented the small panties by cutting the legs off of long johns, and renamed the family company Petit Bateau two years later.
In 1988, the brand became part of the Rocher group, owner of Yves Rocher, and its collections are made up of 76% of timeless pieces, such as the yellow oilskin coat inspired by fishermen's coats made of oiled sheets.
Over the years, the brand has also forged special partnerships with brands such as Maison Kitsuné and Carven. "This is the strength of Petit Bateau. It's to be both a heritage brand and yet furiously modern," says Guillaume Darrousez, the president of Petit Bateau.
The brand, which launched into second-hand clothing in 2017 and recently began renting out baby clothes, now has 350 shops, including 160 in France. The label achieved a turnover of 270 million euros in 2022, and will launch a collection based on a famous cartoon character on June 1.
Petit Bateau will also strengthen its hygiene and beauty offer. After a children's fragrance in July 2022, the brand should launch a women's fragrance, then in the second half of the year three children's products, including a body cream and a cleanser.
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