Stealing women from Chanel to Jean Louis Mahé

Happy New Year everyone ! In January we are often in need of a change ; a breath of fresh air in our lives. And even if spring is far away with still some wintry days ahead, it‘s good to start the year off anew. And why not get off on the right foot with a pair of new shoes ?! Vegan Mode starts the year with a new line of Sneakers by Jean Louis Mahé !

It may be interesting to pause a moment and ask the question why does it seem that women have stolen their sneakers from the men’s locker room ?


For more than 100 years women have continually raided the men‘s locker room. Coco Chanel clearly saw how style could impact comfort in sportswear and beachwear and from 1913 she began to create very stylish masculine knitwear for women. Three years after opening her first boutique, “Chanel Mode”, on 21 rue Cambon in Paris, where she sold hats, she landed in Deauville. She is the first to sell this type of “masculine” clothing for women, for example fisherman jerseys, and clothes that radically changed the feminine style. Later in the 1930s, beach pyjamas were invented. Progress continues !

In the winter collection 1966 Yves Saint Laurent introduced the tuxedo, which became iconic in YSL’s work and was no less than a revolution for women. It is often said that Coco Chanel liberated women and Saint Laurent gave them power. The woman’s pantsuit became an equaliser in a dominant man’s world. The tuxedo, initially a garment for men to protect their evening wear when smoking an after-dinner cigar, became a classic for women. Too revolutionary, it did not sell to haute couture customers but did make a name for itself under SAINT LAURENT Left Bank. The tuxedo was taken over and later reinvented in each Saint Laurent collection until 2002 when he retired from fashion.


Throughout history we find examples of men’s clothing finding their way to into women’s wardrobes. The trench coat is an excellent example : originating during the First World War, it was introduced by the English army to the troops in the trenches to guard against the rain and mud (hence “Trenchcoat”!) Again, another garment morphing from masculine to feminine.

The search for comfort. The idea has undoubtedly remains the same: more comfortable and easier to wear. From the 1970s, with the advent of the Women’s Liberation movement, more and more freedom and comfort were being demanded by women. And yes, sneakers also took their place in this societal revolution. And so much more since the 1980s when stars like Jane Fonda began promoting health and aerobics and brazenly wore sports shoes. Since then, brands are innumerable, however in recent years customers look for ethical products, and the latest trend in sneakers is vegan shoes.

Sneakers by the designer Jean Louis Mahé are a logical continuation of the story of women’s comfort and freedom and are in perfect harmony with the earth and animals, two criteria more important than ever. Free, chic and seeking absolute comfort in an active life, today’s woman is eco-friendly and vegan.

Ultra-light, beautiful and super comfortable. Colors are also de rigueur with scintillating blue, color of the year 2020 ! Black for classicists or light gold for fun and those already thinking of spring ! Yes! The sun is rising in the winter sky and we will soon we need suitable shoes : JLM Sneakers!

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