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Last French Beret Maker Fights for Survival in Hollande Test

Laulhere, a 174-year-old beret-maker, is fighting to keep the quintessential French headgear French.

Laulhere became the country’s sole maker of traditional berets after it last week bought Blancq-Olibet, its only French competitor, which was almost 200 years old. Cheaper knockoffs from China, India and the Czech Republic made survival hard for local makers of berets, which have been as much a symbol of France as baguettes and Gauloises cigarettes.