It all began in the late nineteenth century in Izeaux, a small village at the foot of the Alps. Rémy-Alexis Richard, born in 1878 into a humble farming family, became a semi-skilled cutter at Chevron, one of a score of shoe factories in this Isère village. These factories received orders from contractors "in the city", bought the leather, cut it and had the pieces assembled by farming families at home in the surrounding hills, before fixing them (by nailing or sewing them) onto wooden or leather soles, depending on the product in question.
Rémy Richard soon realised that these contractors from the cities earned more money than his own boss, and decided to try his luck; he went up to Paris with the designs for his own models to sell them as a "factory agent".
His plan worked! Rémy had "his" first shoes manufactured by the factories in Izeaux – including the one he had just left – and sold them to the "major" clients in Paris. In 1908, he began to hire his own staff.