Around 1850, the Legallais family began spinning and dyeing locally produced wool in Saint-James, a commune in Lower Normandy. Their skeins of wool were sent out to the haberdasheries of Brittany and Normandy, where they become cloth and clothing. By 1889, Léon Legallais, the mayor of Saint-James, stepped up in-house production to include the “Real Breton Fisherman’s Sweater”, for which they are now so famous. Originally intended for deep sea fishermen, the iconic stripey was later adopted by seafarers or all kind, Coco Chanel, Picasso, and Edie Sedgwick.
In 1989, in honor of their 100 year anniversary of stripey shirt domination, Saint James went in for the Guiness Book of Records, knitting up the biggest sweater in the world, 8 meters high, and 14 meters from one sleeve to the other, proving once and for all that fisherman stripes look best oversize.