Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Brand Admiration: Le Chameau

Last month, blog reader Shepard G., wrote me about his brand preference for Le Chameau, a French boot-maker and outdoor clothing company. Shep has been looking for a U.S. stockist for Le Chameau clothing. But like most Archival brands, Le Chameau is gradually disappearing from view. He writes:
I really like the Le Chameau clothing 'look', much more so than Barbour or even Filson. I found a UK site, Swillington Shooting & Stable Supplies, which carries the clothing, but most of the 'good' items appear to be sold out. I'd rather order from the US in order to get better prices and avoid horrendous shipping from the UK, but it doesn't seem that there are any US clothing retailers selling LeC. I remember when I first became interested in the brand a few years ago, they were going to have a website based in Colorado to sell the clothing in the US, but I guess the horrible US-Euro exchange rate killed that. C'est dommage.
Like Shep, I've always admired the look of Le Chameau's beautiful, leather lined Chasseur field boots and Nairobi, 6" ankle boots (discontinued). But other than the boots (and a snappy corduroy blazer I once saw at Upland Trading Co.), I've pretty much ignored Le Chameau's clothing offerings because they employ so many technical fabrics like fleece, cordura and gore-tex.

Shep's email, however, prompted me to review current clothing offerings by Le Chameau from UK stockists and Sierra Trading Post. I've posted a few images of some more traditional, country clothing type items (in tweeds and corduroys) I might actually regret not buying ten years from now:

Le Chameau window display, Frankfurt, Germany

Shep was kind enough to take a photo of his personal Le Chameau inventory for the blog. He notes:
The boots are the entry level All Tracks (bought for $80 a few years ago - I could never justify spending $400 for the Chasseurs). I got the boot bag from a local store specializing in upscale hunting/fishing gear that has since shut down. I keep the boots in my truck for emergencies and usually wear them once or twice a year deer hunting. Probably will wear the boots this weekend on a birdwatching excursion with a friend. The migration is in full swing here, and hope to see some geese. I bought the quilted equestrian jacket a few years ago from the Le Chameau website in Colorado (since shut down). Fun thing to wear around town and to Christmas parties. And the aforementioned scarf, which I wear frequently on cold days.

Shep's personal Le Chameau inventory

Shep was also kind enough to forward along a few links to some to his favorite Eurpoean hunting and country clothing sites: