Fred de la Bretonière was born on the 23rd of December 1944 in Amsterdam. It was evident from a very early age that he had a creative personality with a fascination and talent for technology. The Art Academy in The Hague, Holland, was clearly the right course to take. A successful start as an artist followed, giving him the confidence to further pursue his creative passions. He held several exhibitions but felt that his ultimate ambitions lay elsewhere. He continued to explore new possibilities. Eventually Fred happened to create a few designs for shoes and bags and discovered his passion in life. Looking at women with an artist’s eye and designing shoes that would enhance their personality. Designing shoes and bags which women would love and want to wear and keep year after year. In 1970 he showed his first designs to De Bijenkorf, the renowned department store. The designs were very well received: De Bijenkorf immediately ordered 600 bags. Those first bags were manufactured by squatters in Amsterdam, under Fred’s supervision. His bags, and also his dynamic approach attracted a great deal of press attention and Fred de la Bretonière soon became a well-known shoe designer. His designs could be seen in magazines and films and he showed his collections for the international press. In 1976 he was voted the best shoes designer of the Netherlands. Various museums have some of his original designs in the
collections. In 2010 Fred de la Bretonière celebrated his 40th Anniversary in which he was elevated by the Italian Shoe Industry to ‘Cavaliere’ in the order of Lavaro – Santi Crispino e Crispiano. He was awarded because of his long and successful career and big commercial value in Italy. The order of Lavaro celebrates, honours and encourages craftsmanship. During the ceremony he was officially offered the matching white cape and decorations. Santi Crispino e Crispiano is the patron saints of the shoe- and leather industry. “It’s an honour to receive such an award in my jubilee-year, especially in this big shoe-country. That the Italian people acknowledge my craftsmanship is off course amazing. I think it’s a beautiful award which you can compare with the Dutch ‘ribbon’ which our Queen gives out each year to certain people. ” According to Fred.