To date, the Fondation d’Entreprise J.M. Weston has worked to provide support for three initiatives related to the promotion and transmission of skills:

Défi Innover Ensemble

Designed by Compagnons du Devoir and the Fondation d’Entreprise J.M. Weston, the educational project aims to enhance and energize the business know-how by networking skills and dialogue between young craftsmen, creative and student management schools.

As part of this challenge, each team, comprising two managers (students from the Institut Français de la Mode (French Fashion Institute)), two designers (students from the French national school for advanced studies in design) and two Compagnons du Devoir craft prototype makers specialised in soft material crafts (e.g. shoemakers), must put together a project that requires exceptional skill, using both innovation and creativity.

This project will then be presented every July to a jury of Compagnons du Devoir, stylists, designers, architects, crafts people and partner companies who will award the winner with the ‘Excellence Award, for an outstanding example of French expertise’. The winning team will be awarded a prize of €10,000, as well as the special jury award.

Since 2013, 150 young craftspeople, designers and managers have had the opportunity to work together, discover each other’s skills and appreciate the complementary nature of their work.

Prix d’Excellence décerné en 2018 au projet « Metronomme », Gaëlle Burcklé (ENSCI, design industriel), Laurie Demare (IFM, management), Flore Desessarts (Les Compagnons du Devoir, Compagnon maroquinier sur le Tour de France), Audrey Grégoire (IFM, management), Aglaé Poisson (ENSCI, design textile), Jeanne Preiss (Les Compagnons du Devoir, Aspirant cordonnier-bottier sur le Tour de France)

J.M. Weston Foundation Awards

The “J.M. Weston Foundation Awards” is an initiative that was launched in 2017 by the Fondation d’Entreprise J.M. Weston. Its purpose is to encourage international exchange between trainee artisans from France and overseas.

The aim is to bring young French and international shoe and boot-maker trainees into France and other countries’ best workshops for a period of two months (September to October). Supported by local master craftsmen, the winners are duty-bound to create an exceptional pair of shoes during this time, using the methods they have learnt.

For the two first “J.M. Weston Foundation Awards”, four scholarships were available: two for French artisans and two for Japanese artisans.

Candidate selection and profiles

A call for applications is launched in Japan aimed at young trainee artisans. The winners are selected by Masakazu Hirokawa, President of SCOTCH GRAIN, and Yohei Fukuda, master boot-maker, in cooperation with J.M. Weston Japan. In France, the selection is made by the Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France, from a range of young artisans on courses within the Compagnons.

The 2019 exchange

In September, the two Japanese students will be hosted at the J.M. Weston manufacturing site in Limoges, while the two artisans from the Compagnons du Devoir went to the Yohei Fukuda workshop and the SCOTCH GRAIN factory in Tokyo.

At the end of their internships, the candidates present what they have produced, and receive the “J.M. Weston Foundation Awards” prize at the closing ceremony.

More informations :
Gregoire Talon – [email protected]

Aude Coutarel et Masakazu Hirokawa, Scotch Grain, Tokyo

Juliette le Moal, Yohei Fukuda et ses artisans, Tokyo

Yurie Takeuchi et Hiroshi Takagi, manufacture J.M. Weston, Limoges


The Fondation d’Entreprise J.M. Weston supports the “Savoir-Faire et Création” course given by the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. As part of this programme, students from ENSAD and apprentices from the Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France (soft materials department) work together on projects that combine aesthetics with technical skills.

In July 2018, a “Mode & Sens” event took place at the Centre National de la Danse.  It was a fashion show created by the class of 2018 studying clothing design at ENSAD, and gave each student a chance to present a personal project. The accessories were made at the Alice Delimal leather workshop with aspiring Compagnons du Devoir leatherworkers.

Sujet personnel « cousin », création étudiant de l’ENSAD

En 2018, un événement “Mode&Sens” (caption de la photo) a eu lieu le mercredi 4 juillet au Centre National de la Danse.  Ce défilé de la promotion 2018, spécialisation Design vêtement de l’EnsAD, a permis à chaque étudiant de présenter un sujet personnel. Les accessoires ont été réalisé chez la maroquinière Alice Delimal et avec des aspirants Compagnons du Devoir maroquinier.