Over the generations, this French fine-knitwear specialist has developed its values around its love of French style. Thanks to its expertise. Montagut creates knitwear in fine materials such as cashmere, silk and even the famous Fil Lumière.
Based in the Auzene valley near Saint-Sauveur-de-Montagut, Adolphe Tinland, a young entrepreneur eager to enable his native Ardèche to benefit from the industrial boom, created a silk-milling factory powered by the driving force of the river.
The business would be passed on to his son Gaston, then to the next three generations.
Between the beginning of the 20th century and the First World War, Paris became known as the heart of the fashion world. As soon as the war was over, Georges Tinland created a silk-knitting workshop near Valence: the Bonneterie Cévenole. He was the first, in 1925, to sell silk stockings under the name Montagut, which is why his name is associated with the brand's beginnings.
Like many Ardèche businesses, the Bonneterie Cévenole provided support to the Resistance by lending trucks and housing refugees. Around that time, Georges Tinland oriented the brand towards the most demanding clientele, producing luxury lingerie and marking the beginning of a long tradition of excellence within the company.
The post-war period was marked by the shortage of many natural materials, including silk. In response to this major problem, Nylon and Rayon were gradually introduced in lingerie and stockings. The flower that would become Montagut’s logo made its first appearance!
In 1963, Leo Gros, Georges Tinland’s son-in-law, developed with his friend an artificial thread that imitated all the qualities of silk. This unique material was named Fil Lumière by its creator, who at the time was doubtless far from imagining the extent to which his invention would raise the brand’s profile. Leo Gros’s enterprising spirit led him to travel around the world, and the brand’s Fil Lumière polo shirts became known throughout the Middle East and Indochina.
With the growing fame of the company worldwide, it acquired, under the leadership of Pierre Gros (Léo’s son), considerable expertise in fully-fashioned wool, cotton and cashmere knitwear and began to include polo shirts and sweaters in various natural materials in its French collections.
Montagut acquired the Pôles brand, a specialist in creative high-quality knitwear that shares the same values of expertise and excellence.
Montagut is the most famous polo-shirt brand in China. At the dawn of the 21st century, Pierre Gros was wanting to extend the range to all ready-to-wear from the year 2000, while retaining the brand’s signature elegance. Many new stores were opened, particularly in Asia, selling a variety of clothing items and accessories.
What was only a workshop in 1880 has today become a multinational company that strives every day to preserve its French authenticity and the expertise in creating exceptional products that it has accumulated over 135 years. Today the sixth generation has taken over the reins. Sustained by their family heritage, Marine and Nicolas are injecting fresh life and passion into this knitwear brand with their own contemporary touch.
Contemplating a world living at the exciting pace of industrialisation, Adolphe Tinland (1831–1902) understood the importance of change. Driven by the desire to represent the values of his region as well as his own skills (he was originally a silk miller) in this new world, he decided to invest in it by creating a silk factory, founded on excellence and expertise, which he called Montagut.
Gaston, Adolphe's eldest son, succeeded in developing and industrialising the business, notably by creating a knitting and stocking workshop in 1925, using electrically powered machines and employing about 50 workers.
In the mid-1920s, Georges Tinland, Adolphe’s son, created a silk-knitting factory at Valence (in the Drôme): the Bonneterie Cévenole. Taking a strategic new direction, he decided to make and sell high-quality lingerie and stockings under the name of Montagut. A second factory was built in Guilherand-Granges (the group’s current headquarters) to increase the production of silk stockings. This first strategic turning point enabled the brand to flourish before the Second World War, especially since stockings were slowly becoming mass-market accessories.
After excelling in engineering studies, Léo Gros returned to Ganges to take over his father’s, Fernand Gros’s, dyeing factory, which brought him into contact with Bonneterie Cévenole and Georges Tinland, who was one of his clients. In 1963, Léo Gros (who, after falling madly in love with George Tinland's daughter, had become his son-in-law) developed an artificial thread with all the qualities of silk and called it Fil Lumiere. In the course of his travels, he promoted Fil Lumière Montagut polo shirts throughout the Middle East and Indochina. They become the brand’s signature product!
In 1986, the company's worldwide renown flourished under the leadership of Pierre Gros. It gained substantial expertise in fully-fashioned wool, cotton and cashmere knitwear. The beginning of the 21st century was marked by Pierre Gros’s ambition to turn Montagut into an international brand. While retaining the brand’s signature elegant style, he opened many stores, particularly in Asia, and extended the brand’s product range.
Marine Lozet-Gros is the great-great-granddaughter of the founder. She has brought a new dynamic to the brand and enhanced its contemporary style while remaining true to the brand’s fundamental values. She is both the guardian of the family’s history and responsible for its future in all areas linked to creation and communication. Aged 30, she represents the sixth generation of the family.
Many years of financial studies have enabled Nicolas Gros, Marine’s older brother, to develop a finely honed approach to the company’s finances. After working as a consultant, he joined the family business, where in 2012, he created the online store www.montagut.com, bringing the company up to date with new technologies.
Today, six generations succeed each other in Bonneterie Cévenole, the children of Pierre Gros working alongside him at montagut.