Best foot forward

Mes Chaussettes Rouges

Online retailer Mes Chaussettes Rouges offers the finest socks in the world to a growing band of discerning customers

Mes Chaussettes Rouges is a temple to socks. Based in France, it sells the highest-quality socks in hundreds of different colours and styles, sourced from some of the finest French and Italian tailors, including the Roman tailor who makes the red socks worn by Catholic cardinals – from which Mes Chaussettes Rouges takes its name. “Our goal is to have the best socks for everybody,” explains Vincent Metzger, the business’s co-founder. “Some people want very specific socks, whether that’s the type of material, or the thinness, or the size, or whether it’s knee-length. Since we started 13 years ago, we have introduced more than 600 styles, so we have socks for everyone. We have some accessories, such as underwear, pocket squares and handkerchiefs, but our identity is socks.”

The concept began life when Vincent was still a child and fascinated by the fact that the Pope’s socks came from Gammarelli, an Italian tailor founded in 1798. Whenever he visited Rome to purchase some of these socks for himself, he found the shop was closed, so after finishing business school he made an experimental arrangement to start selling them online. The socks proved to be hugely popular and, as the business developed, further tailors were added, including Gallo and Mazarin, a brand developed with Paris’s exclusive Stark & Sons, the tailor to the French Academy.

Mes Chaussettes Rouges takes socks extremely seriously. There is a machine to test for abrasion, while a washing machine runs socks on a constant cycle to see the effect over time on the fabric. Customers can even have fittings for bespoke socks in any style or material, with a minimum order of eight pairs, and the company is exploring new materials, including nettle and its own-brand, super-durable wool. “We have found the thing that people most care about is durability,” Vincent says. “So we created this very durable range and it quickly became our most popular style, making up 35 per cent of our sales. We use only non-toxic dyes and the manufacturer’s staff are paid fairly and treated well. We want to have the best socks in the world in terms of quality; we supply people from all over the world, as people everywhere are very particular about their socks.”