The Made in France is a topic that continues to much attention, and we have already partially addressed on BonneGueule. If it is often acclaimed, it can also be considered as a pure announcement.
Interview with Deborah Neuberg, founder of De Bonne Invoice
Deborah Neuberg, the creator of the brand Good Invoice, chose to embark on the adventure too, with a true background process. We interviewed her to tell her story.
His experience is particularly interesting: it is a young entrepreneur who chose to start with a limited network and collaborate with experienced French workshops, despite much higher costs, reduced budget, and therefore a margin very reduced operating.
Transcript of the interview of Deborah, creator of De Bonne Invoice
Everything is made in France and each piece is made by a workshop that is specialist in know-how, so the shirt by FLS of which you spoke in the Loiret, the trousers at Hervier Productions in Chatillon on Indre, the mesh in Quimper at Fileuse d Arvor, & c.
The idea was really a product, a know-how and a specialist workshop. What was the approach to the workshops?
I especially took my phone, I called them, I looked for them. And in fact, I said to them: “I have a project, I would like to launch a line made by French workshops with authenticity in the product, real products of know-how. Can I come and visit your workshop? ”
Actually ties, accessories, that’s something that went pretty fast because from the moment you know pretty much what you want to do, especially for ties, it’s vintage yarn reels, So it was just going to the workshop, discovering a few different knitting points, machines, and so on. And then select colors and materials in fact. So it was rather trying to do very few things very well, but yes to propose a complete locker room, it appeared to me quite quickly as what I wanted to do and what had to be done around the mark.
Why manufacture in France?
I think that it was mostly a personal desire, very sincere in fact, when I returned from China, to rediscover those local workshops in France family, traditional, that people do not know, who embody the know-how that Have long been established in the region. And here, being French, I wanted to put this forward.
Is it a sacrifice to make in France?
You want to get a result, a quality and you put the price to get that quality there. Then for me, the question is how far a customer is willing to pay for that quality. Today, there are pieces that are made that have the quality of big house. But we are a young niche brand, and we can not afford to sell the parts at those prices. So it’s rather a sacrifice on the margins. Here. Not a sacrifice on prices because I assume that you want a result and you pay the price it takes to achieve this result and that your product is of superior quality to what is done elsewhere what.
“Made in china”, what do you think?
There is a know-how that is really present. It’s not because it’s made in China that it’s not good.Then, when the customer has a certain price constraint, ben behind you have a quality, behind you have a manufacturing cost, and suddenly you have the wages of the people who have fashioned these products which are not Not the same. And in China, how often have I seen workers making hand knots that are going to be on ballerinas that will come out, I do not know, ten dollars, finally for an American customer. And in fact, it’s a woman who knows everything.She makes all day small knots. Everything is done by hand. There is a working time except that in fact it is much cheaper than in France.
Afterwards, it is up to us to value the jobs and workshops in France that have a more advanced know-how than traditional, expertise, real expertise, true legitimacy, a true identity on a specific know-how. I am here to bring my idea. So my idea translates into a sketch, a patronage that I will work with my modeler, a material that I will select, finishes, it is me who selects my buttons.And the workshop, it is really there to bring its know-how manufacturing, to manufacture the parts, to realize them. So I’m going to consult them, for example, on technical issues that I do not know or ask for advice.
Under no circumstances will they substitute for me in what should be the products and in the creation.
You work with what types of workshops?
It is very variable in fact. It’s very variable. It goes from the workshop that works for the big houses, the big names of luxury. And that there are those big customers who make them live, who represent most of their numbers and who will bet on you because you are a young brand, that they find that your project is interesting and that Want to bet on you. So, it goes from this workshop to the very small workshop for example Tricot Diogenes who makes knitted ties. This is the last workshop in France to make the knitted tie. There, there is really just one person who still knows how to turn the machines.
What obstacles did you encounter when creating your collection?
Well, that’s precisely the time. The main obstacle is the time it takes to create something from scratch. Really thinking his project well. Think well, but it’s also my character to want everything to be all right. Well set, well thought out before throwing it. So, surround yourself with the right people. And then, realize the first prototypes, develop them. Finally, all this is a process that is very, very long.
Why do you call your “edition” collection?
In fact, the idea at the base is part of all the time I spent thinking about the project for two years. But the idea is to say we are not a brand image, we are not a fashion brand, we are not a brand in the ephemeral. When you buy a piece of manufacture, you must be able to keep it for a long time, not only because its quality allows it to skate well and even live well with time, and even to beautify with time; But also because in style, it is a style we will say of contemporary timeless. One is always between something that seems timeless but in the cups that is contemporary and that you can wear, that is is today.
So this approach for me was really to develop models, a little like a library where in libraries, you would have classified each model. And this model with each season, it will decline in the new variations of materials, colors, knitting for mesh.
How did the collaboration with the Heschung workshop happen?
The collaboration with the Heschung workshop was a great meeting. I think they liked the state of mind in which I worked, with precisely this very demanding side on the product, quality, make a product brand and not a brand image. It also resembled the values of their company and their brand for many years.
Are you planning to work with “non-French” workshops?
Yes, it could be interesting. I do not exclude at all, in the form of collaboration, for example, to go and get a workshop that makes scrap or even ladies who would still knit by hand this kind of pattern and make a small limited edition with this workshop- There or with that know-how there.
Can you show us parts of your collection?
There are Breton sweaters with buttoned placket on the side, vintage buttons in pressed horn.There are a few hundred and it’s an old stock that I bought from a Lyonnaise factory in fact.And it is a knit “point of rice” which brings a nice texture, which is not quite enough often.
The idea was to find the waterproof fabric that was going to be the fabric of our brand. And we found a superb canvas made of cotton waterproof, so it’s a cotton and nylon mix. Otherwise, there is not the waterproof side. And actually, what is super nice but there I can not show you too much is the cut. It is a truly cut, very beautiful line what. It is very pretty worn.
All the buttons are like that, the horn buttons. And you have a hidden gorge. So in fact when you closed the door, you just have the first button that is visible and you always have the half cotton lining and inside the English seams.
The final word ?
The readers of Bonne Gueule are aware of the quality, the approach that is behind the pieces and appreciate it.
The journey of Déborah Neuberg, the founder of De Bonne Invoice
Good Bill is also the story of Deborah. She founded the brand after only a few years spent in fashion, notably at Hermès and then at Etam in China, where she discovered the reverse side of a massive and standardized production (which is not a questioning of the made in China , but a too broad and too industrially produced).
On his return to France, Déborah is taken by the desire to rediscover – and better still – to evolve, French know-how.
Leading this type of project is above all a matter of work and motivation. Especially during the first contacts with established factories, to whom it was initially difficult to present a project as new, without having spent itself a decade in the middle, and without having a notebook provided d Addresses and distributors.
This is where the soundness and feasibility of a project make the difference: a workshop is indeed only unprofitable on a first collection , for the whole production chain is set to suit the product. The workshops are investing on the brand and on future collections, and are waiting to work with someone who has their feet on the ground and a true vision of things. It takes a lot of professionalism to make a good first impression.
Perfectionism Deborah is also due to a very limited budget, which allows only small volumes of parts. There is therefore no right to the error, and it is necessary that the least finishing is impeccable from the beginning.
The De Bonne Invoice brand and its workshops: an ambitious approach
Deborah has engaged in an exploration of several months of work: his vision today is comprehensive and describes a landscape made in France more varied than one might believe.
An imperative: a real added value through French expertise
Manufacturing in France is necessarily priced, partly because of high labor costs. Under these conditions, made in France just for the label has no interest on low value-added products, where bigger brands have greater responsiveness and even higher quality, thanks to economies of scale .
Manufacturing in France with small volumes is justified only when there is an expertise that does not exist elsewhere. These expert workshops also have a useful advisory role which, through the partnership, have been able to suggest how to improve the product on technical points (seams, finishes, etc).
Manufacturing in France: a contrasting industrial landscape
The last decades have been those of deindustrialization and the scarcity of French textile production. Many brands have wished to launch recently in the made in France , but the approach was often unsuccessful in realizing that production costs were much higher than expected.
Using prestigious workshops such as French Luxury Shirt (who dresses the staff of the Élysée) or Fileuse d’Arvor was not simple: everything had to be proven to those suppliers who already collaborate with prestigious names of French luxury .
Yet there are other deserving workshops, which are for some the last to have a certain expertise (there is a European label that protects these companies: the label company EPV , including held by Heschung and Arpin ).
Other workshops are only held by one person, like Tricot Diogène for ties. Full-time production had to be stopped due to lack of orders. It is the project of De Bonne Invasion that allowed a partial resumption of production, as well as a diffusion of the know-how.
Find a unifying theme: focus on longevity in fashion
Another bias at De Bonne Invoice: positioning itself as a mark of timeless. This is reflected in the vocabulary of the brand: we will never speak of Autumn / Winter or Spring / Summer collection, the very symbol of the ephemeral nature of fashion.
This is more of “editions”, a term which already puts on an equal footing the different collections, which excludes any notion of obsolescence .
The goal is more to crystallize a theme or a moment’s envy, to translate it with a sharp know-how, and to publish it in an edition. Ultimately, there will be a library of know-how. If the first collection did not contain large pieces, the macs and jackets The spring / summer edition.
The pieces are impeccable, but one remains however in a sobriety that one finds rarely elsewhere, as much on the level of the materials that of the cut: they are never outrageously arched, but simply adjusted.
In practice: the test of the chambray shirt From Good Invoice, Edition 2 (195 €)
I must admit that I was initially rather surprised by this piece: it is a little intermediate between an ultra formal formal shirt and a chambray shirt more “soft” and relaxed.
The test and the proposed outfit offer only a partial view of the possibilities of this garment: a chambray of such quality skates theoretically without problems, and becomes more fluid as the washings.
Design: FLS, shirts of the Élysée
FLS, or France Luxury Shirt, is a small workshop of the Loiret which works for very prestigious French brands, and that delivers the staff of the Elysée at the rate of a hundred shirts a year.The workshop trademark is including the famous 7 stitches per centimeter, and French seams.
The famous English sewing.
Quick reminder : a high number of points centimeter allows a much finer thread, because it will be consolidated by more seams. Needless to say, the finish will be much more durable and resistant, but also much more refined.
Another reminder : The English seam is a technique where a single thread is visible on the outside of the shirt, allowing rendering neater and uncluttered. This can be seen, for example, on the neck seams.
This impeccable know-how joins the perfectionism of the designer Déborah Neuberg, for a shirt with details of a quality not found in this range of prices (yes, even on a shirt at 200 euros, we can still find reserved things Usually at even higher price ranges). The horn buttons were bought in a small French workshop in the Jura: it is Brochot, specialized in this product since 1958.
The making of a button takes besides 15 to 21 days: it is engraved, polished in ceramic barrels, then dyed. It also applies corozo powder to give a satin finish and softer. These buttons, made from the most noble part of the horn, skate and embellish with time.
To spoil nothing, they obviously have a cross stitch, much more robust.
Workwear and casual details
Even if we are dealing with a shirt at first formal, we find typical finishes of the workwear: American throat (with finishes on both sides of the buttonhole of the shirt) and chest pocket with a weft on the High. The round cuffs are, for their part, more casual.
You may be destabilized by hearing about white chambray. Indeed, an indigo warp thread is usually crossed with a white weft yarn. Well here, the warp thread is simply white.
The characteristics of the formal
At first glance, it seems really complicated to associate a chambray with a light weight to a cut as precise, and to neat finishes. It must be noted that De Bonne Invoice has re-examined all the characteristics of the formal shirt (in terms of clothing) to adapt it to this type of fabric, which is more difficult to work with.
Despite structure and impeccable finishes, you need not look absolutely all finishes tailors characteristics of the formal shirt . We are not actually facing the cotton poplin, but rather face the chambray; The weaving is very different. It is more raw, but especially much stronger and stronger.
Therefore, you will not find a swallow or last buttonhole in the horizontal, and this will not be the sign of a lower quality.
In fact, the swallows are, at the base, intended to prevent the lateral slits from tearing, which is certainly less likely to happen here. Deborah wanted a blueprint in line with a low liquette without swallow, FLS also assured him that the junction would not be less solid so far, because of the quality of the preparation and French seams already particularly strong. Moreover it is a pity that some ‘geeks’ of the masculine seek at all costs of the “codes” that they have seen in the blogs or manuals of the shirt, besides very related to the perception of the elegance British or Italian Of the editors of these publications.
Similarly, the last buttonhole to the horizontal serves to attenuate the tension that the shirt undergoes at the waist once it has entered the trousers.
One aspect of the shirt has disturbed me a bit: its length, which is not supposed to allow a port completely relaxed out of the pants. It is therefore intended for outfits a little more dressed, with chinos well cut, and summer belts nicely enhanced. Here are some examples of more summer clothes (it would have been complicated to shoot at 5 degrees).
We were able to keep the shirt only a few days, so what I present to you is a somewhat formal rendering, due to the rigidity of the collar in new condition. It becomes much softer and looser as the washings progress.
Given the finishes and the length of the shirt, one will necessarily carry it tucked into the pants, so in a more casual way.
We shoot this outfit in winter with a simple overlay pull / coat, which allows to sweep several registers: from the dressed to the more casual. I had not slept the night before these photos, so you will forgive me for being exceptionally cut to the assembly
The overlay coat / pullover / shirt
The chambray has a very strong texture, which is interesting to insert in superpositions with contrasts of materials.
Similarly, the round wrist has a more casual connotation: it is an interesting detail to highlight.Horn buttons also have an interest in enriching your outfit. However, you must make an obstacle to the sacrosanct rule of 2 cm shirt cuffs visible, but it is not so serious, because we are not on the formal ultra codified.
Overlay and shirt collars: how to avoid conflicts
Through this small series of photographs, I want on the one hand to show you the almost ideal spacing of the collar of shirt, and on the other hand the ways not to wear it.
I’m not a fan of this trend air tie which is to bring its fully buttoned shirt without a tie or bow tie or other accessory. Yet here, the width of the neck of sections and spacing appeared to me about ideal for this type of port, halfway between the casual and something more sophisticated.
The most fussy will notice that it does not completely fill the collar of the sweater, a meager sacrifice in view of the beautiful contrast of matter and style between the shirt and the sweater.
The result is also very good without pull:
The rendering of the neck is, on the other hand, more bastard as soon as it is opened: it is normal, because it is a shirt that is supposed to lose its rigidity as the washing.
In the same way, you see that there is a volume that concentrates in the arms: it is normal, the shirt will also soften as the washings, and will adjust. As for the armhole, it is rather high.
The shirt remains short short. One is really between a tailored cut and casual shirt, the evidence here:
Conclusion: DeBonneFacture, basics with the expertise of French workshops, perfectionism in addition.
DeBonneFacture is not just another brand offering good timeless basics: research is here much more advanced so that there is a real innovation, and this chambray shirt symbolizes it in its own way (even if it has a Price, the brand addressing a public of true connoisseurs).
The perfectionism of Déborah Neuberg is truly reflected in his creations: the expertise of the workshops perfectly materializes him, and this courageous but demanding economic model does not give him the right to make mistakes.
In short, we highly recommend. You can purchase products on the Exception ( a priori never resulted). And discover other parts of the mark on the website of Good Invoice.
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