In 1937, Geoges Jonathan, a sales representative in Paris, and Gilbert Sivel, a textile technicians in the centre of France, established the Atelier Artisanal de Bonneterie de Nîmes (Hand-crafted hoisery workshop) in Nîmes. After a break during the Second World War, the company resumed its production in 1944 under the brand Eminence.
In 1946, the two entrepreneurs bought new weaving looms from Switzerland, which were totally unknown in France at that time and enabled to manufacture a loose-woven fabric, called the “little knotted stitch”.
The following year, during a trip in Argentina, Georges Jonathan noticed that the gauchos living in the pampas wore briefs with an opening. Eminence decided to take inspiration from it to design pouch briefs, the item number 100 in “little knotted stitch”. The next flagship model was invented at the end of the following decade with the famous item number 108 made from fine rib stitches.
Thanks to this item the underwear company acquired its reputation as a specialist in this industry.
Eminence was the first brand to sell its undergarments wrapped in transparent plastic bags. Its advertising campaigns from the 1950s featured the French humorist Roger Nicolas and were made by famous French poster designers of that time such as Gruau and Leupin. It also was the first brand of men’s underwear to broadcast its advertisements in movie theaters.
Most of Eminence products are rather discreet and classical and of high quality. Some items are even more “technical”, such as the products from the Eminence anatomic line, which are made from microfibre.
However, some of them are more original and play with patterns or materials. It is for example the case of these boxer briefs made from modal cotton with blue stripes and contrasting stitching.