Comité Colbert: eight craftsmen to be named Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres in 2024

On April 24, 2024, the French Minister of Culture, Madame Rachida Dati, elevated eight craftsmen working in the Maisons du Comité Colbert to the rank of Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres. Luxus Plus was there.


Eight craftsmen from eight luxury houses were honored at the Rue de Valois in Paris, in the presence of the French Minister of Culture, Rachida Dati, and Madame Bénédicte Epinay, General Delegate of the Comité Colbert.


This latest award brings to 93 the number of artisans who have been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres since the initiative was launched in 2006 by the Comité Colbert, the representative body of the French luxury goods industry.


Guarantors of France’s identity


The ceremony, held on April 24, 2024, under the gilded halls of the Palais Royal, showcased a cross-section of these passionate connoisseurs of materials, with their penchant for time and fine craftsmanship. In the sumptuous Salon des Maréchaux, the Minister of Culture made her first award of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. “Through you, all crafts professionals are being honored for their contribution to the arts, in particular the decorative arts, and to the vitality of artistic creation“, declared the Minister.


The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is a French honorary decoration administered by the French Ministry of Culture. Created in 1952, the medal rewards “individuals who have distinguished themselves by their artistic or literary creations, or by the contribution they have made to the influence of the arts and letters in France and throughout the world“.


Guardians of particularly precious ancestral know-how, craftsmen contribute to the reputation of French luxury excellence through their mastery of precise, perfectly orchestrated gestures. The Minister also reiterated the importance the government attaches to the development of high-quality vocational training courses for young people. These are all sectors that need inspirational figures such as “men and women of commitment” who are keen to “pass on a taste for effort and a job well done“, in order to create “the artistic creations of tomorrow’s France”. A taste for effort “without which nothing new or great” can happen.


For her part, Bénédicte Epinay recalled the ambition pursued by the Comité Colbert since it was founded by Jacques Guerlain in 1954: “to carry high the values of the métiers d’art and give them all the visibility they need to perpetuate their existence.” She added that “perpetuating does not mean freezing [insofar as craftsmen] “never stop evolving their techniques”.


The Comité Colbert can count on a real “revival” of craftsmanship in France. The 2023 edition of De(ux)Mains du Luxe, organized by the Comité Colbert, attracted over 7,000 young people to Station F, and garnered 530 million views for videos posted by young craftsmen on the TikTok platform under the hashtag #SavoirFaire. Similarly, the Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Arts held by the Comité Colbert at the Mobilier National drew over 6,000 visitors in six days.


A fine sign of hope, given that the luxury goods sector in France still needs 20,000 talented people every year, according to data released last December by the Comité Colbert.


“Artistic craftsmanship is part of France’s identity, and should be supported and promoted. By celebrating the artisans of the Comité Colbert houses, the Ministry of Culture is acknowledging their contribution to French cultural history, and recognizing the need to preserve and pass on their crafts”, emphasized Rachida Dati.


Couture in majesty

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Featured Photo: © Comité Colbert

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Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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