Quimper



The threshold of the door the Lochardet house barely crossed, at 6 rue Saint-Mathieu, in Quimper, this Tuesday, the characteristic smell of leather, subtle and captivating, envelops you. Wherever you look, coats, jackets, blousons. By the hundreds. Garments that all highlight shearling, furs and, above all, the most delicate leathers. Items for women and men, now stamped “-20%” to “-50%”. The sign that the store is living its last hours. In mid-January 2023, Didier Lochardet, “having reached retirement age”, will definitely lower the curtain. A closure experienced with “a little nostalgia”, he admits, but without regret.

Fur, good years to disgrace

The last turn of the key will punctuate his “forty-three years in the store”, soberly announces the trained furrier. Beyond a profession, a passion, which sticks to his skin since childhood. It was passed on to him by his parents, Madeleine and Marcel. They are the ones who created the store and the workshop in 1953. First in Douarnenez. During the first years, the couple worked “almost exclusively on fur”. “She was doing a lot at the time. And almost everything in made-to-measure manufacturing because, in those years, ready-to-wear did not exist, ”recounts the Quimpérois.

On site, essentially, lambskin, “finer, lighter, supple” than that of cowhide. (The Telegram/Sophie Benoit)

A material then shunned, in the 1990s and 2000s. “Even a little piece of fur on a hood, people no longer wanted it,” recalls Didier Lochardet. He then insists on one point: “In France, furriers were among the first signatories of the Washington Convention

in 1976”.

Today, fur (like made-to-measure) corresponds to “a tiny part of turnover”, confides the Quimper resident. But he still observes a return to grace. “Beautiful products”, for which “there is demand”.
Upstairs in the store, the clothing, repair, maintenance and transformation workshop.

Upstairs in the store, the clothing, repair, maintenance and transformation workshop. (The Telegram/Sophie Benoit)

“Brittany’s Last Workshop”

With each change, the Lochardet family has adapted. After six years spent near the halls of the Penn-Sardin city, the couple rooted the store in Quimper. Rue René-Madec, then rue Astor, twelve years later. Up to nine people work there. In 1998, the brand moved one last time, to a 115 m² premises on rue Saint-Mathieu. A sales area… And still the workshop for making, repairing and transforming furs.
At 6, rue Saint-Mathieu, Didier Lochardet has not found a buyer for his business.

At 6, rue Saint-Mathieu, Didier Lochardet has not found a buyer for his business. (The Telegram/Sophie Benoit)

A site on which they are two to work now. Alongside Didier Lochardet, Christine, “who has worked with me for 36 years”. Together, they have welcomed entire generations of customers. Customers who will inevitably be numerous to push the doors of the store one last time. Before the last leather jackets so dear to the furrier are unhooked from the racks. Failing to find a buyer, the family adventure will then end. After 70 years of existence.

* On international trade in endangered species.
In Quimper, the Lochardet house definitely drops the jacket

(The Telegram/Sophie Benoit)

Quimper – In Quimper, the Lochardet house is definitely dropping the jacket