Most of the makers I write about about are craftsmen, many second and third generation, who acquired their skill over the years.
One interesting exception to that pattern is a new company with a nice story. Mes Chaussettes Rouges (My Red Socks) is a Parisian provider of socks that the founders, Jacques Tiberghien and Vincent Metzger, are almost certainly unable to make themselves. Instead, they talked their way into becoming the agents for the socks worn by the Roman Catholic hierarchy and have grown from there.
A. Gammarelli, a small Roman firm, provides vestments to the Pope, cardinals and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, including socks in cardinal red, bishop purple and deep black. Gamarelli provides Mes Chaussettes Rouges with nicely made cotton lisle over the calf hose in those same colors (apparently aware of my propensity towards colored socks, they sent me the red and the purple).
Not content with three colors, the co-founders have since developed a range of Egyptian cotton socks that began with the olive green worn by members of France's Academie Francaise as trim on their coats and has expanded to encompass most of the rainbow.
I am not certain how much inventory the company holds as they state that orders may take 15 days to be dispatched but the socks arrive nicely packaged for about $27 a pair plus shipping. And they make a great story.
Illustration: Mes Chaussettes Rouges