Dominated by its famous viaduct, Millau, in the south of the Aveyron département, is France's leather glove capital.
Millau gloves, made by the taweries and glovemakers that grew up here in the 12th century, are in great demand for their texture, sophistication and elegance. In the early 20th century the industry employed up to 12,000 of Millau's 18,000-strong population.
Millau gloves were popular with women of fashion in the 18th century and the favourite of celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy and Steve McQueen, and these days they are sought after by fashion designers at the top end of the market. This resurgence of the industry is founded on a dozen or so small businesses with a reputation for creativity and exacting standards. One example is the Causse Gantier company, whose modern premises designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte include a magnificent visitor attraction. Note that in 2012, in its 120th year, Causse Gantier was added to the UNESCO list of rare artistic trades.
The town of Millau has been granted Ville et Métiers d’Art status.