Hatmaker Auguste Michel founded his company at 65 rue Sainte Anne in Paris in 1936. In 1975 Pierre Debard took over Maison Michel with his wife Claudine. Debard reintroduced the use of 'Weissmanns', old straw sewing machines which enable the creation of huge hats with invisible stitching. These signature large wide-brimmed hats appealed to the designer Pierre Cardin, and later Yves Saint Laurent. La Maison Michel went on to create hats for the haute couture and prêt-à-porter collections of companies such as Chanel, Givenchy, Nina Ricci, Laroche, Lanvin and Christian Lacroix, and in 1996 Maison Michel was acquired by Chanel.
Laetitia Crahay, Head of accessories and jewellery at Chanel and Artistic Director of the Maison Michel, has designed the Maison Michel Ready to Wear collection since 2006. Fresh and seductive, with a strong identity, and perfectly in the spirit of the times, her creations have already become modern classics.