Carel's Saga

From the very beginning, Carel understood how to speak to women. Thanks to a discreet and elegant sense of style, the brand was able to make classic shoes -- ballerina flats, pumps, and Mary Janes -- into durable must-have pieces. 

We have a special connection with some fashion brands. 

As if they have always been part of the fabric of our lives. 

Carel is first and foremost a family history. 

It is the story of a family whose fate became intertwined with the history of French fashion. 

In 1947, Georges Carel left his hometown of Grenoble and moved to Paris with his wife Rosa. 

Georges Carel and his wife opened their first shoe store for women in 1952 at 29 Boulevard Saint-Michel. 

In the heart of Paris and the student district, 20 meters from the Sorbonne. 

In 1960, Opening of a store on the Champs Elysées and a space in the Galeries Lafayette, in the store’s brand new footwear department.

In 1972, After studying clothing design in Italy, Tony, the couple’s son, joined the family business. 

A decade later, his sister Michèle Bineau-Carel provided further reinforcement.

In 1974, the brand gave birth to the Marquis, a shoe with gentle masculine and aristocratic accents that featured a “grosgrain” knot and came in a range of colors.

The Marquis was an instant hit, selling more than a million pairs! 

There was then La Topo, a mousey ballerina flat with tongue-in-cheek whiskers, first introduced in 1978 thanks to a collaboration with the brilliant Japanese designer Tokio Kumagai. Humor is a part of the brand’s history.

1978

Carel factory opens in Blois

1982

Carel buys Carvil, a brand of men’s footwear

1984 

Georges Carel retires. The new generation becomes more involved in the brand.

In 1974, first campaigns photographed by Jean-Loup Sieff. This collaboration would go on for 20 years.

What sets Carel apart? Boldness and risk-taking. From the very beginnings, George Carel never hesitated to shake up conventions and introduce frank and vibrant colors into his collections

The biggest names in fashion called on Carel to design shoes for their collections. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld for Chloé, Issey Miyake, and Thierry Mugler put on their fashion shows with Carel shoes. Clearly, the brand appeals to all sorts of women and styles.

1986

Michelle Vivien designs Carel’s collections

2010

With the support of an investment fund, Frédérique Picard buys Carel

2011

Store redesign by Claudio Colucci

Over the years, the shoemaker has also worked with promising young designers like Etienne Deroeux and Wanda Nylon, as well as the influencer Clara Cornet. 

Talented professionals of all kinds have put their faith in Carel. People like the singer Christine and the Queens, who has worn glittery Estime ankle boots on stage, and the English model and designer Alexa Chun and the French musician Clara Luciani who have both become avid fans of their strappy Mary Janes.  

2014

Creation and marketing of the “Kina”.

2018

Carel is distributed in the United States in Opening Ceremony concept stores.

2019

Launch of the leather goods line.


Carel's Saga