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An Extraordinary Path

Out of all our graduates, Léon Cligman stands out because of his age (he was born in 1920) and also because of his out of the ordinary background.

Born in Moldava in 1920, he entered the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris at the age of 15, where he acquired the building blocks to become one of the leaders in the French textile sector.

His Career

He first became president of Indreco (Newman, Mendès…), and then took over Devanlay, which included Lacoste, Scandale, Jil and Orly.

In addition to being a major contributor to the development of the textile and clothing sector, Léon Cligman and his wife, an artist, are also avid art collectors.

Léon Cligman and his Love of the Arts

In 2020, he and his wife will sponsor the inauguration of a modern art museum at the Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, which will house about 900 works of art (paintings, drawings, sculptures, antique objects, etc.), all from the Cligman collection.


Léon Cligman will keep in his archives, on the other hand, some of his school notebooks and documents that he still has in his possession. These regularly written notebooks and papers, covered with the upstrokes and downstrokes of pen and ink, chart the history of a period when students learned chemistry, geography, as well as how to draw up a balance sheet.