French Beret Makers: Then There Was One

The traditional industry struggles against inexpensive imports
The traditional French beret is made with half a mile of merino wool and a leather rim to help it fit snugly Photograph by Markel Renondo for Bloomberg Businessweek

The beret Basque, which has been as much a symbol of France as baguettes and Gauloises, is an endangered species. On Feb. 10, Laulhère, a 174-year-old beret company, became the country’s sole maker of traditional berets after it bought Blancq-Olibet, its only French competitor, which was almost 200 years old.

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