Charles Jourdan was born in 1883 in France. In 1919, he began a shoe shop in Romans, in the Drome region of France. His business prospered, particularly in the sales of womens shoes.
In the 1930's, Charles Jourdan was the first shoe designer to advertise in fashion magazines.
After World War II, Jourdan was joined by his 3 sons Rene, Charles and Roland and in 1957, they opened a boutique in Paris. In 1959, the house of DIOR granted the company a licence to design and manufacture Dior shoes.
Jourdan's designs are up-to-the-minute. In the 60's and early 70's, the firm created an avant-garde image for itself by using the surrealist photographer Guy Bourdin for its advertising campaign.
During this period the company sold vast quantities of two notable Styles, the 'Madly' a thick-heeled platform shoe with a high vamp, in red or black patent leather, and the 'Maxime' a low-heeled square-toed court shoe with a satin bow.
Charles Jourdan died in 1976, but his sons continued the firm. Building on his father's tailored style, Roland Jourdan took the basic pump shape, elongated the toe and saddled it with the simplest of buckles. Roland Jourdan retired in 1981.
Jourdan now make Pierre CARDIN shoes among others. During the 80's and 90's, they have been associated with a more conservative look although sometimes they create a powerful design.
In 1996, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the house of Charles Jourdan, they brought out a perfume named ""Stiletto"" in a bottle shaped like the Eiffel Tower.