The landmark of the little village is the bull standing on the market-place. It symbolizes the traditional consciousness of its inhabitants. Laguiole has approximately 1200 residents, more than hundred are employed at the FORGE DE LAGUIOLE.
Many shops in town are selling knives. The tourists, however, are mainly offered knives industrially fabricated in the French town Thiers or even in The ignorance of the tourists is often taken advantage of. Thus they buy a knife believing that it was forged and manufactured in Laguiole. The truth is that it often has been produced in the Far East and its material is only worth 2-3 Dollars. The only thing the knives have in common is the character “Laguiole” imprinted on the blade.
Never had Calmels nor his heirs the brandname “Laguiole” protected. This circumstance has always attracted numerous imitators. .Many knives, sunglasses, lighters and other articles badly manufactured are offered with the name “LAGUIOLE”, they all have nothing to do with the traditional product manufactured in the cuttlery of the village.
However, some people from LAGUIOLE were not willing to accept that manufacturers from other regions were producing this legendary knife. Therefore the community founded the “ASSOCIATION COUTEAU DE LAGUIOLE” in the early eighties. The aim was to re-establish the knife production in LAGUIOLE which would guarantee the old traditional high quality. Besides it would help gaining a new economic reputation for the region.
Finally in 1987 the FORGE DE LAGUIOLE was founded. Until today it is the only manufactory which forges blades and manufactures the knives according to the traditional way.
The restaurant of Michel Bras is also situated in Laguiole. He is one of the most innovative cooks in France and highly decorated with three stars. The restaurant and hotel owned by Bras was designed by the renowned French designer Eric Raffy. Not much later he even created a prize winning pocket knife for the FORGE DE LAGUIOLE.