This felt hat is as much a national French symbol as the baguette and the Eiffel Tower. Originally made and worn by shepherds in the French province of Bearn, it continues to cultivate its nonconformist aura, having adorned the heads of farmers, intellectuals, laborers, pastors, Hollywood stars and soldiers. The beret is now cashing in on its French chic thanks to Laulhère, the last historic manufacturer of berets, which is reinventing this piece of headwear as a fashion accessory at its workshops in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département.
"The cap is fine for laborers, and the top hat is mighty impractical, but the beret is simple, chic and charming!" This line was from the Prévert brothers’ 1932 film It’s in the Bag (L'affaire est dans le sac), which sang the praises of the humble beret. Originally designed for functionality, this shepherd’s cap offers a range of advantages. Both solid and light, it fits comfortably on the head[...]