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Robert Clergerie, the maker of the luxury French shoes worn by Rihanna, Bella Hadid and Madonna, was never one to sit around kicking his heels.While other brands have been forced to go abroad for cheaper labor, Clergerie has bucked the trend."It was the revelation of my life," Clergerie recalls in a new book, "Robert Clergerie, the Man Who Shod Women".In 1978 he struck out on his own, taking over a factory in Romans and launching the first collection in his own name three years later.In 1996 Clergerie sold his controlling stake to investors, though he still held 10 percent of the shares.That was when Clergerie returned to save the day. The brand prospered and seven years later he finally retired, passing the company and its 17 shops around the world on to French and Hong Kong investors, who had promised to keep making the shoes in Romans.
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