An daring wager – stitching at all costs
Rémy Richard’s son Julien joined the company in 1937, at the age of 20. It was not easy to take over from such a devoted, successful father. Julien had spent his childhood away from his parents in a number of different boarding schools, leaving with just an ordinary school leaver’s certificate.
The phoney war, followed by the Occupation, obviously slowed down production due to a lack of raw materials. It meant a return to wooden soles and living by one’s wits. The workers alternated work at the factory and tending the fields, rented for the purpose, with the produce redistributed.
After liberation, a thirst for recovering everything that had been done without during the war got the factories working again, but times had changed. The war led to the development of the chemicals industry. Synthetic materials appeared, as did glues, which were to revolutionise shoe construction methods.