French fashion designers

By  | 

Paris is often called the unofficial capital of the fashion world. Famous fashion designers, models, stylists, and in general, all the fashion lovers flock to France to see and experience the latest fashion designs in the fashion world. The contribution of France, and, in particular, of the French designers to fashion industry have been phenomenal. Here we present some of the most legendary names in the French fashion world.

Jacques Fath

French fashion designers Jacques Fath

As a self-taught designer who learned his craft by attending museum exhibitions and reading books on fashion, Fath hired several young designers as assistants and students, some of whom later formed their own fashion house, including: Hubert de Givenchy, Guy Larouche and Valentino Garavani. The popular and sometimes innovative designer, known for its fashion status, dress up “Luxury young Parisians,” Jacques Fath in his work used materials such as hemp burlap and sequins, made of walnut shell and almond. His 1950 collection was called “Lily”, and demonstrated skirts had the shape of a flower.

Jacques Fath models Jacques Fath retro photos

Jean-Paul Gaultier

French fashion designers Jean-Paul Gaultier

Gaultier was the creative director of “Hermes” fashion house since 2003 till 2010. In the past, he was involved in the filming of the TV program “Eurotrash.” Jean Paul Gaultier have never been specifically studied for a designer. Instead, at an early age, he began to send his sketches to famous couturiers. In 1970, Pierre Cardin was impressed by his talent and hired him as an assistant. Subsequently, he worked with Jacques Esterel in 1971, and a little later in the same year – with Jean Patou. Then, in 1974, Gaultier returned for a year to the management of Pierre Cardin boutique located in Manila. His first independent collection was released in 1976, and his style began to emerge in 1981. For many years, the designer has been known as the “terrible enfant of the French fashion.”

Jean-Paul Gaultier film Jean-Paul Gaultier Madonna

Yves Saint Laurent

French fashion designers Yves Saint Laurent

In 1953, Saint Laurent submitted three sketches on a competition for young designers organized by the International Wool Secretariat. He won the first place and was invited to attend the ceremony, which was held in Paris in December of the same year. During his stay with his mother in Paris, they met Michel de Brunhoff, the chief editor of the French edition of “Vogue”. De Brunhoff, a person very careful in respect of the surrounding, known for supporting new talents, was impressed by the sketches that Yves Saint Laurent brought with him. The editor realized that Laurent will become a fashion designer. Eventually, Saint Laurent pondered Brunhoff proposal to join the course in the House of the Union of Haute Couture, which regulated the fashion-industry, as well as provided training to its employees.

Yves Saint Laurent black FW Yves Saint Laurent brand

Coco Chanel

French fashion designers Coco Chanel

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was the daughter of a single woman Jeanne Devolle, a laundry worker in a “charity hospital, which is run by the Sisters of Providence” in the French town of Saumur. She was the second Devolle daughter. Her father, Albert Chanel, was a street vendor who was selling work clothes and underwear, and led a nomadic life, traveling from one fair city to another, while his family had to live in an dilapidated house. In 1884, he married Jeanne. At birth, the name Chanel has been made in an official register, as “Chasnel.” Jeanne was unable to attend the reception, as she was ill, and at registration, Albert was recorded as a person who “move from place to place.” In the absence of both parents, the name of the child, probably, due to a technical error, has been properly recorded.

Coco Chanel dresses Chanel brand and show

Christian Dior

French fashion designers Christian Dior

Dior family hoped that he would become a diplomat, but Christian was an artistic person and wanted to be involved in the fashion business. To make money outside of the home he was selling his sketches of clothes, each of which costed about 10 cents. In 1928, Dior left school and got the money from his father, who went on to finance a small art gallery, where he and his friend, like Pablo Picasso, were selling works of art. Three years later, after the death of his mother and his brother, as well as the financial disaster that occurred in the family business during the Great Depression, as a result of which his father lost control of the company “Dior Frear,” the gallery had to close. Since then and until 1940, when he was called up for military service, Christian worked with the fashion designer Robert Piaget.

Christian Dior models in dresses Christian Dior Fashion show

Christian Marie Marc Lacroix

French fashion designers Christian Marie Marc Lacroix

In 1987, Christian Lacroix opened his own fashion house. In 1988, he began to release collections of ready-made cloth-wear, drawing inspiration from various cultures. Critics have noted that he does not seem to understand what clothing is for women belonging to the working class. In 1989, Lacroix, along with his collection of ready-made cloth-wear, began to produce jewelry, handbags, shoes, sunglasses, scarves and ties. In the same year, he opened boutiques in Paris, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, London, Geneva and Japan. Lacroix soon became famous thanks to its luxurious fantasy works, including short skirt, made ​​in the style of the fungus (“le pouf”), rose prints, and low-cut in the decollete area.

Christian Marie Marc Lacroix bridal Christian Marie Marc Lacroix Vintage

Louis Vuitton

French fashion designers Louis Vuitton

The distance from his hometown to Paris was over 400 kilometers, which the young man overcome by foot. On the way to Paris, the future designer several times took a part-time job in order to get money for his onward journey. In the French capital, he became an apprentice carpenter – packer of ladies’ dresses, belonging to prominent families. Due to the fact that he was well established in his field, Napoleon III appointed Vuitton the wrapper of his wife’s dresses, th empress Eugénie de Montijo. Through his experience with the French royal family, he mastered advanced knowledges of good manufacturing of travel bags. It was then when he began to create models of his own luggages, laying the foundation for his company.

Louis Vuitton FW

Retro Louis Vuitton

Pierre Cardin

French fashion designers Pierre Cardin

Cardin established his own fashion house in 1950. His career began at a time when he created about 30 costumes for “the party of the century” – the Masquerade Ball, held on September 3, 1951 at the Palazzo Labia in Venice, which was organized by the owner of the Palazzo – Carlos de Beust. He began to design clothes for haute couture in 1953. Cardin was the first couturier, who turned to Japan as a high fashion market during a trip in 1959. In 1959, he was expelled from the Union of High Fashion because he became the only designer in Paris, who introduced a collection of ready-made clothes for department store “Printemps”, but was soon restored. In the 1960’s, Cardin began to practice what is now a commonplace – in his collections, for the first time all of a sudden appeared designer logos on the clothing line he was creating.

Pierre Cardin for men Pierre Cardin show

Sonia Rykiel

French fashion designers Sonia Rykiel

At the age of 17, she was hired to decorate the showcase of a textile shop. In 1953, Sonia married Sam Rykiel – the owner of an elegant clothes boutique. In 1962, she was unable to find any soft sweaters to wear during pregnancy, and her husband took the supplier from Venice to create his own sample. Subsequently, Sonia Rykiel created her first maternity dresses and tiny sweater, which was called “the poor boy sweater” which te designer started to sell under the label of her husband, “Laura.” The “poor boy sweater” appeared on the cover of “Elle” fashion magazine and brought Rykiel glory; it is for this reason that Americans have given her the title of the “Queen of Knitwear” in 1967. Since then, she has continued to experiment, expanding her collections.

Sonia Rykiel models on catwalk Sonia Rykiel with models

Emanuel Ungaro

French fashion designers Emanuel Ungaro

At the age of 22, Emanuel moved to Paris. Three years later, the fashion designer began to create clothes for the fashion house of Cristobal Balenciaga, where he continued to work for three years; thereafter, he left the fashion house Balenciaga and began working for the designer Andre Kurezh. Four years later, in 1965, with the assistance of Swiss artist Sonja Knapp and Elena Bruna Fassa, Emanuel Ungaro opened his own fashion house in Paris. The fashion designer launched his first menswear collection – “Ungaro Uomo” – in 1973; his first perfume – “Diva” – the well known designer has created ten years later, in 1983. This was followed by the release of perfumes “Senso” (1987), “Ungaro” (1991) and “Emanuel Ungaro for men” (1991). In 1996, he partnered with the famous shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo. In 1997, Ungaro, Ferragamo and Bulgari together founded a new company, “Emanuel Ungaro Fragrance”, a new perfume, “Fleur de Diva” (1997), “Desnuda” (2001) and “Apparition” (2004 .).

Emanuel Ungaro models Emanuel Ungaro SS show

Hubert de Givenchy

French fashion designers Hubert de Givenchy

In 1952, Hubert de Givenchy opened his own fashion house in Plaine Monceau, Paris. Later, he named his first collection “Bettina Graziani” in honor of Paris’s top model of that time. Despite Dior’s conservative outfits, his style was marked by innovativeness. At the age of 25, he became the youngest designer of the progressive Paris fashion. For financial reasons, his first collections were created using very cheap fabrics, but their designs always aroused curiosity. Audrey Hepburn, later a prominent supporter of Givenchy fashion, met the famous fashion designer in 1953 during the filming of the movie “Sabrina.” He sewed almost all of her wardrobe clothes she wore during the filming of the movie.

Hubert de Givenchy models Givenchy fragrances