How romantic movie inspired successful brolly business

Hand-stitching in the Cherbourg workshop

Jane Hanks discovers the myriad possibilities presented by a quality, handmade parapluie from a man whose father was inspired to start making umbrellas by a well-known Sixties French musical

Umbrellas are an essential item for protection against seasonal spring showers – and one company in Cherbourg is finding this universal and most basic of accessories is still extremely popular.

Charles Yvon, 31, took on the family business, Le Véritable Cherbourg ( when his father retired – and explains what makes a successful family business.


What inspired your father to start making umbrellas?

In 1964, a popular film was released, starring Catherine Deneuve called Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

It was the first film to be entirely sung and filmed in the streets of Cherbourg and made the town famous.

My father was a fashion photographer who worked all over the world, but eventually he decided to come back to his home town and in 1986, inspired by the film and by the world of fashion he created Le Véritable Cherbourg company to make quality umbrellas.

You took over from your father when he retired last July. Were you happy to take over the ...

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