Shortly after arriving in Paris from his hometown in Alsace, Albert Weill opened a small atelier dedicated to women’s fashion on rue d’Aboukir. Each piece was designed by his wife, Anna, before being expertly made by seamstresses and delivered to the major department stores of the time.
In 1924, under the leadership of Robert Weill, the son of the founder, the now thriving business moved to a building at the foot of Montmartre, which had been especially built to keep up with the company’s rapid growth. Known as ‘La Manufacture’, this building soon became the company’s headquarters and it was here that Weill focused on optimising the wholesale manufacture of quality creations.
Jean-Claude, a third-generation Weill, drove the company into the modern era with his decision to release seasonal ready-to-wear collections. From this point on, each garment, never before labelled, would now bear the mark of the brand. It was also at this time that the Maison’s iconic logo—a horse-drawn carriage—and slogan—‘Weill Suits You’—were created. The corresponding advertising campaign was orchestrated by the Publicis Group.
1968: Just as Paris is in full swing, Weill strips its models bare.
Bernard, Jean-Pierre and Viviane, the children of Jean-Claude Weill, opened the first WEILL boutique on the Champs Élysées, one of Paris’s most beautiful and famous avenues.
Weill celebrated its centenary with what would be the event of the year in the world of fashion: ‘One hundred years on, Paris is Weill’. An exhibition was held at the Fashion Museum in Paris.
From Europe to Russia, from the Middle East to Asia, upon entering the international market, Weill was met with great success.
With the redevelopment of the company’s Parisian headquarters, located at the foot of the Sacré-Cœur, Weill made a daring and unique architectural statement, which perfectly reflected the ethos of this ambitious company: to always remain innovative and ahead of the times, and to step boldly into the twenty-first century.
The former factory connects Weill’s past to its present. Built by Albert and Robert Weill in 1922, this old industrial building, once one of the largest ateliers in Paris, is located in the heart of Marché Saint-Pierre. A perfect expression of the identity of the fashion house, this building has evolved with Weill over time, expanding alongside the company.
Jacques Moussafir, the architect in charge of the project, orchestrated the colossal undertaking, which included the demolition and reconstruction of the top two floors of the building and the installation of a superb metal and glass structure that served to extend the inner courtyard. Moussafir played with volume and scale to enhance the space. He explored the relationship between the interior and the exterior by creating openings on both sides of the buildings that give way to breath-taking views of the iconic rooftops of Paris and the Sacré-Cœur. Simply stunning!
The contemporary aesthetic of the new structure echoes the work of Humbert and Poyet, who had been entrusted with the task of decorating the brand's boutiques. In collaboration with the architect and the Weill family, the design firm created a luxurious and contemporary atmosphere true to the times. The lobby and the showroom are reminiscent of the work of Paul Dupré-Lafon, the famous architect and decorator, responsible for the original design. The subtle combination of travertine limestone and black and green marble has been updated. A bold mix of 1930s architecture and 1950s furniture and lighting (such as Knoll, Guariche and Gino Sarfati), the result is completely contemporary.
First, there was Albert Weill; then, there was Robert Weill. Today, it is Jean-Claude Weill, the attentive patriarch and leader, who watches over the company, but it is his children, Bernard, Jean-Pierre and Viviane, who continue to enthusiastically drive the company forward, assisted in turn by Elie and Alexandre, who represent the fifth generation of the family and the company.