Last Dec. 23, Vivarte completed the sale of its shoe manufacturing subsidiary, Compagnie Vosgienne de la Chaussure (CVC), to a German investment fund based in Hamburg, Hanse Industriekapital, which raised its capital to more than €12 million. Etienne Ménéguz, who has been confirmed as president and chief executive of CVC, says he is looking for new clients and partners in the luxury footwear segment for its subcontracting services, as well as the acquisition of a brand or a license.

CVC recently hired Jorge-Manuel Cavacas, a former manager of Charles Jourdan, and one of the few remaining French experts in lasts. The goal is to further develop its subcontracting activities in the higher end of the footwear market, where it already cooperates with a small workshop in Romans.

These activities are meant to gradually replace the contract work that CVC has been doing for Vivarte, which has guaranteed a declining volume of orders for the next three years.

CVC currently employs 150 people for the manufacture of 350,000 pairs annually at a modernized factory near the German border, and one-third of the workers may go into retirement over the next three years. It's all that remains of nine former André factories that were employing up to 3,500 workers and making more than 3.5 million pairs a year. André actually started as a producer in 1896 and went into retailing only later.