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Who was Ernest Leoty?

Ernest Leoty, the inspiration behind our brand, was one of the 19th century’s most renowned corset makers who made his name by inventing the first ‘modern’ corset. The departure from the traditional restrictive ‘stay’ was marked by Leoty’s awareness and sensitivity to a woman’s wellbeing: his corsets were light and supple, allowing for total freedom of movement. Leoty was revolutionary in his time because of the focus he placed on comfort coupled with his refusal to compromise on elegance.

L-R: Le Corset A Travers Les Ages, 1893, by Ernest Leoty; an advertisement for Maison Leoty’s new corset in Le Gaulois du Dimanche; a 19th century article on “Le Corset Moderne”

The Legacy

Maison Leoty first achieved renown outside France at the Great Exhibition of 1873 in Vienna. Today evidence of its legacy can be viewed in museums around the world, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The atelier was located at 8 place de la Madeleine in Paris, and later on in a move that confirmed Leoty’s international reputation, a second showroom and shop was opened in London at 33 New Bond Street. The tradition of Leoty lives on in the modern incarnation of the brand which takes the DNA of his original corset and regenerates it for today’s modern woman.

Clockwise from left: Silk corset, Maison Léoty, 1891, courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; address card for Maison Leoty; Ernest Leoty Romy Corset in Black

Ernest Leoty Today

Our contemporary interpretation of Ernest Leoty is designed with a Parisian sensibility and a focus on couture details that embraces the feminine silhouette with a contoured, supportive fit reminiscent of his original corsets. We combine the exacting tradition of French tailoring from the luxury fashion world with the highly technical seaming of the activewear world. We source high-performance fabrics from the best Italian mills, using factories across Europe and esteemed corset makers in France. Like our namesake, we embrace new fabrics and technology, but never sacrifice style. Our luxury activewear is chic, feminine and functional and sits comfortably at the interface of tradition and innovation, delicacy and strength, and elegance and endurance.

Clockwise from top left: Ilona Bodysuit; Corset Bodysuit; Alexa Tank Top & Mara Legging, all Ernest Leoty

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