At the end of the nineteenth century, Saint James produces woolen shirts for sailors. What can be considered as the ancestor of sailor sweater is made from raw wool, which mainly aims to isolate and keep warm. A long garment that covers the torso and part of the legs like a nightgown. Clothing adopted by the fishermen of Cancale, Granville and St. Malo who fished mainly cod in Newfoundland. When fishing was worse, some of them were accustomed to trade with England where they sold futures products such as garlic and onion. According to legend, it was at this time that seeing these sailors become “merchants garlic” was born the term “sweater” in reference to this outfit so characteristic they wore.
A navy sweater that evolves over the years. Its mesh becomes so tight that the waterproof said. It is worn over short and close to the body to serve as a second skin. The button appears on the side to allow easier donning the sweater. The French Navy is the main customer for a long time Saint James. The legend also says that it was a Navy engineer who spent the first command striped sweaters at the end of the nineteenth century. From his observations, it was easier to spot a man in a sea wearing stripes. The sailor sweater is working outfits with codes: the sailors wear stripes, officers distinguished themselves by their plain sweater.
It was not until the 70s that Saint James start producing for the general public. The sailor sweater then entered the Heritage was adopted by boaters and tourists. The major browsers also ensure its promotion beyond the coasts. In the 80s, the brand develops its first summer cotton collection. The logo as we know it today dates from 1989, when Saint James celebrates its centenary.
Since the 90s, the company Saint James grew strongly while retaining its historical production in his hometown. The area of workshops increased from 6500m2 (1994) to 11,000m2 (2001). The number of employed also almost doubled! A beautiful French success. And if the sailor sweater remains the flagship of the brand, Saint James tends to evolve its latest collections to a sport-chic style with more general including polo shirts and shirts (I love the women’s collection also).