May 14, 2013
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Petit Bateau marks 120 years with spotlight on workers

May 14, 2013

TROYES - French clothing brand Petit Bateau on Monday celebrated its 120th anniversary by staging a "Made in Troyes" photo exhibition, paying homage to its workers by colourfully depicting them in humourous settings linked to their jobs.

The 42 pictures by Stephane Remael in the outdoor show are dotted along the Seine River traversing the north-central town.

One of the photos at the exhibition

Images include ones of a company dyer taking a bubble bath and a quality inspector posing as a model.

"I wanted to create a visual shock and move away from the traditional image of a worker in front of his machine," Remael said.

Managing director Patrick Pergament said the "exhibition pays homage to our teams and shows with humour that behind every machine there are men who perpetuate French know-how and creativity".

"Viewers can discover the complexity of the textile industry through these photos," he said.

The company was founded by Pierre Valton in Troyes in 1893. In 1918, it invented the leg-less cotton underwear which came to replace the shorts-like underwear of the period.

The Petit Bateau brand was registered in 1920.

The Yves Rocher group bought the firm in 1988. It now employs nearly 4,000 staff worldwide, of whom just over 1,000 work in the Troyes factory.

The show runs through July 7.

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