Already as a child, Laurent BRUNAS, current Director of Regain, was interested by how the jumpers made for luxurious brands were done.
THE MANUFACTURE REGAIN, SET FOR 2 GENERATIONS AT THE FOOTHILL OF PIC DE NORE
The story starts at the foothill of Pic de Nore, highest point of the mountain range called The Black Forest, which overlooks Castres in the Tarn region of France. In 1973, François Brunas, a specialist of the knitting machines, creates his first knitting workshop.
At this time, the textile industry is in full bloom in France and particularly in Tarn.
In the 80s, the manufacture also starts to do the confection itself.
The workshops then work for the biggest fashion brands such as Yves St Laurent or Pierre Cardin and Givenchy.
A TURN TOWARDS THE UNIFORM AND PERSONALISATION
In 1987, François Brunas took a turn towards professional wear and delivered the first jumper to the National Gendarmerie, taking a market of 20k units per year. Then came the emblematic fire fighters piece, still in use nowadays. The manufacture quickly became renowned for its know-how in this very demanding and qualitative market. It then developed rapidly, producing massively for the police, the fire-fighters or the armies.
The manufacture produces then up to 80k jumpers per year and 35 persons take turns to work in the workshops, 24h a day 6 days per week.
AN OFFER THAT EXPAND INTO TECHNICAL PRODUCTS
Laurent Brunas, the founder’s son, starts to work in the manufacture.
To respond to the customers’ needs, the company extended her range to even more technical products, using their existing skills, they developed models that respond to stringent Europeans norms around fire resistance, thermal protection, high visibility, electrical arc protection…
"THE MADE IN FRANCE IS VALUABLE, WE NEED TO KEEP THE JOBS AND PRESERVE THE SKILLS ACQUIRED IN OUR WORKSHOP OVER 40 YEARS." LAURENT BRUNAS C.E.O
A deliberate yet risky choice to resist delocalisation
The economical crisis has set in. The mains players on the market have long since decided to relocate their workshops to stay competitive, but the manufacture resists.
In 2009, Laurent Brunas took over. It’s a deliberate yet risky choice to keep them in France, but Laurent is convinced of the added value of “Made in France”. He cannot take the decision to abandon such a qualified and skilled workforce and loose all the knowledge stacked in his workshops for 45 years.
THE MANUFACTURE'S WORKSHOPS ARE HOWEVER IN DANGER
On the professional market, the military’s numbers are declining and the jumpers are replaced by technical material and the prices for “Made in France” cannot compete with low labour-cost countries. The manufacture’s workshops are in jeopardy.
Looking back on their previous experiences in fashion at the very beginning, the expertise they gained in knitting and the introduction of confection, Laurent Brunas makes the choice to diversify into fashion. The local authority of the region Midi Pyrénées supported his project.
DIVERSIFYING INTO FASHION
Laurent Brunas collaborates with fashion experts who share his values. All are ready to fight beside him to make good this new venture, the only way to save the workshops of Castres.
In the fall of 2013, a site dedicated to the fashion brand of Regain is created. The manufacture launched its first collection and already got noticed by the press and the blogs. Publications put it next to the great names of high end fashion.
A press office in Paris and London assures him a high visibility internationally. Japan is the first country to order the collection.
In may 2014, the brand “Pic de Nore” is created for the fashion side of the manufacture. Pic de nore, symbolic landmark in this story.
Manufacture IS ORGANISED TO ALSO PROPOSE RESEARCH DEPARTMENT
From now on, the manufacture is organised to also propose to others brands a service of design office and prototyping as well as the realisation of the production.