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The founder of Kleman, René Cléon joined the Second World War on the front lines and was then taken prisoner in 1940 during the Battle of France for 5 years in Germany. While he was in captivity, he continued to model small leather shoes hoping to be back in his hometown soon to launch his idea of a shoe manufacturing workshop.


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Behind the Label

A shoemaker and bootmaker by trade, René Cléon joined the front lines during the Second World War. After being taken prisoner in 1940 for 5 years in Germany, he continued to model small leather shoes, hoping to be back home soon to launch his idea of a shoe manufacturing workshop. When the war ended in 1945, he formed a team of apprentices and bought his first stitching and assembly machines, the business grew and a factory was built and in the 1970s-1980s his sons Jacques and Louis-Marie took over.