In 2012, moustache mania swept over France. They were everywhere: on bags, fabrics, mugs, jewelry, phone cases… This unexpected rise in ‘tache appreciation caught the attention of three French 23 year olds: Thibault, Antoine and Guillaume. Inspired by the success stories of French tennis shoes like Veja and Fago, this young trio saw an opportunity in the market, and put their best foot forward to launch M.Moustache shoes. With each of the team undertaking a key element of the business (Antoine looks after the financial side of things, Guillaume oversees the logistics and production, while Thibault is in charge of the communication and marketing) the team was born! Following the bizzare facial hair trend, the three guys sought to incorporate this cultural phenomenon into their designs, however they also had another reason for choosing this hairy mascot to front their brand. “We liked the ambivalent air of moustaches: they are masculine, hipster and old-timey all at the same time” explains Thibault.
With a strong identity and creative spirit, their shoes are designed to be, “chic and comfortable for guys on the go, or perfect to wear after work or on weekends away”. The company’s mascot is another quirky addition that is in keeping with the brand’s tongue in cheek irreverence. A moustached sheep (yes, really!) is the fourth face of the company, and the guys even went and got two real sheep for the M.Moustache launch night. The founders believe that these anecdotes and memorable moments are “essential” for the M.Moustache brand, adding that, just like their designs, it’s these little things that make them stand out in the market!
After only a year and a half of business, M.Moustache shoes are now stocked in over 80 shops across the world. What is more, despite the doom and gloom of the economic crisis and the difficult market for new businesses, the brand is making a profit and gathering a strong follow with fashion-conscious men.
During the ten month period from conception to launch, the boys worked and reworked their ideas, finally ending up with a shoe that has all the important finishing touches and artisan detailing to meet the fashion needs of the modern, twenty-something male. M.Moustache shoes honour their French heritage, with strong French names like Armand, Gustave and Raymond and wooden box packaging for the first collection echo the tradition of vintage wine bottle corks. Their shoes can be matched with a range of socks designed by the guys, which are affectionately based on French female names for a match made in shoe heaven!
On the design front, Guillaume explains, “We take classic, masculine shoe styles and add a novel twist, or a little detail to update, modernize and refresh the classic shoe for the modern day man.” The result? A unique range of plimsolls and lace ups in jazzy patterns and interesting fabrics which stand out in the boring sea of black, leather men’s shoes. And don’t forget to look out for the brand’s namesake moustache embossed on the shoe! As the brand grows in popularity, their collections are expanding, and M.Moustache has recently reissued some of their most successful models at the request of their ever growing sea of fans.
The team have already launched a style for women, the “Mademoiselle Rodolphe”, which was a huge success, and something they’re hoping to recreate in the future. “Our ladies’ styles will be inspired by an androgynous, masculine aesthetic, similar to that of the The Kooples.” The design trio are certain on one thing though: making sure every shoe has the moustache motif!