A Best of France selection

In 1963, when director Jacques Demy was making his enchanting musical film Les Parapluies de Cherbourg with Catherine Deneuve, one of the fascinated onlookers was 12-year-old Jean-Pierre Yvon, son of an old Cherbourg family whose tanneries dated back to 1800. After studies in Paris and a 10-year career as a photojournalist, Yvon returned to his hometown and opened a gift and accessories shop. In 1986, with the film and its colorful umbrellas in mind—and the wet and windy weather of the English Channel coast as an added incentive—he decided to make a real parapluie de Cherbourg. He designed three models, had them made, and the rest is local history. Now manufactured in Yvon’s own Cherbourg factory, Le Véritable Cherbourg has been called the Rolls Royce of umbrellas. Made with fine fabrics, engraved brass, gilt or steel fittings and handles of polished maple, chestnut and other fine woods, it can withstand winds up to 75 mph head on and 34 mph from the underside. And each Véritable Cherbourg is embroidered with the company’s crest — a shield surrounded by a laurel wreath and a pair of crossed umbrellas.

A special limited-time offer for France Today readers with special prices—the Sport Auto model for men and the Ville for women. The Sport Auto, with hornbeam handle, normally €145 (shipping and handling included) for €129 (or with chestnut handle, normally €174, for €149). The women’s Ville model, regularly €134, for €125. All prices include shipping and handling. Colors available (see website): noir, navy, gris foncé, beige, bordeaux, rouge, vert anglais, bleu pétrole. Delivery takes two to three weeks. Offer good until December 31, 2010.

To order, send a fax to +33.2.33.08.09.23 with your name, delivery address and telephone number, model (specify handle for men’s) and color, credit card number and expiration date. For questions (in French) call +33.2.33.93.23.77.

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Originally published in the December 2007 issue of France Today; updated in November 2010

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