Delpozo was founded in 1974 in Madrid, by the expert hands of the Spanish designer Jesús del Pozo. After forty years of success, following the death of the founder in 2011, the brand was acquired by Grupo Perfumes y Diseño. The brand becomes the spokesman of craftsmanship and artistic tradition in the fashion world.
The Delpozo Style
Being a voice out of the chorus has made Delpozo a brand with an immediately recognizable image. The delicacy and charm of the famous Spanish fashion house made fall in love with the American first lady Melania Trump who, on several occasions (such as the official visit to Seoul), wore Delpozo garments.
The company’s couture techniques, consolidated over time, have an incredible modern sensibility. The house of prêt-à-couture is dressed in contrasting elements: traditional and modern, architectural elements, but also organic. Delpozo always has a creative approach to volume, color and silhouette; artisanal techniques and complex embroideries are present in all collections.
In 2018 the philosophy of the Maison is “less is more”, to echo the architectural style of its style. Delpozo juggles between balance in proportions and never shameless elegance, creating timeless pieces.
The Delpozo collections are made in Spain, in small ateliers. The pieces are so intricate and detailed that they need to be made by ateliers who know the art of craftsmanship. However, the shoes are produced in Italy.
Delpozo fabrics are always natural: organza, poplin, silk tulle, double wool crepe, with some combinations with more modern fabrics like PVC and crinoline. The collections, all very colorful, are filled with nuances.
The handmade embroidery is masterfully created with the most refined and avant-garde materials, using techniques from both the Haute Couture and the Ecole Lesage in Paris. The skilled craftsmanship and intricate details applied are consistent with the prêt-à-couture philosophy of Delpozo.
Creative Director: Josep Font
Font was appointed Creative Director of Delpozo in 2012. Trained as an architect, he began his career presenting collections in Barcelona, Madrid, Tokyo and Paris. He showed his couture collections in Paris as a guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
A little more than five years after his appointment, Josep has achieved a great success: he has succeeded in relaunching the brand with an international focus. Inspired by the couturier Pedro Rodriguez, the original designer of Santa Perpetua de Mogoda, puts the attention in the craftsmanship, while maintaining a modern twist. Given its formation, the creations of the designer are inspired by organic architecture (in the shapes or in the floral details), art and nature. These three elements always return to the collections, season after season. Art in the form of dance like ballet, as well.
London Fashion Week 2018
After five years of successes during the New York Fashion Week, Delpozo makes his debut in London with a show that describes the authenticity of the brand.
The stylist Josep Font focuses attention on the delicacy of pastel colors that sweeten a minimalist silhouette. The rose celebrates top over with maxi bow or, more simply, long evening dress with luminescent details on the shoulders.
The fall / winter 2018-19 collection plays on prints like the pied-de-poule cape, polka dot pullovers or floral prints. The look, moreover, is united by a stylized corolla in life that emphasizes the contained volumes of silk and tulle dresses and tailored suits with an asymmetrical cut. The collection expresses the glamor of a maison that focuses on luxury but discreetly, praising the purism of the lines and the quality of the garments.
Damiani, a leading company in Italian jewellery manufacturing and trade sector. The brand was established in 1924 with Enrico Grassi Damiani, he began designing and creating jewels with diamonds, and soon he became favorite jeweler to the noble families of Valenza Po, the center of the Italian goldsmith tradition.
Enrico Damiani was acclaimed in the italian jewelry industry as the highest expression of classicism, balance, and preciousness. And his son, Damiano, continued the family business, with his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit he designed jewels with a more contemporary style which remained unaltered over the time.
Damiani D. Icon Ring
Since the beginning each masterpiece created has conveyed the absolute reflection of a woman who believes in inner beauty, elegance, knowledge, and power. A lot of investment was made in research and development as a result of company’s clear-sighted and conscientious character. This power of taking decisions by considering the future is the potion of today’s clairvoyants and Damiani is one of them. The jewelry art evolved with a focus on white gold, as the princely metal of the Collections.
After a time, the firm became a corporation. In 1960 the company started to expand industrially and invested a huge amount of money to build their research and development department. Then, by 1976 the company won the first Diamond International Award with their “Bocca di Squalo – Shark Mount” bracelet. It has received several De Beers Diamonds International Awards, which are the Oscars for jewellery.
From 1980-90 the communication strategy of the brand was changed completely. Celebrity brand ambassadors became the primary source for their new communication strategy, and new collaborations with famous photographers were established for their campaigns. During the 90’s, the brand opened its first international branches in Switzerland, United States, and Japan. During this time the advertising spokesperson of the griffe was Isabella Rossellini.
In fact, Damiani is among the first jewelry companies in the world to introduce the use of testimonials since the late 1980s. Over the year’s Damiani’s impressive and awarded advertising campaigns have been shoot by internationally renowned photographers and featured some of the most famous stars including; Isabella Rossellini, Brad Pitt, Nastassja Kinski, Milla Jovovich, Jennifer Aninston, Gwynet Paltrow.
The Third Generation
In the early 1990s the third generation entered Damiani. Silvia Grassi Damiani, born in 1966, is in charge of purchase of pearls and global communication. Giorgio Damiani, born in 1971, is responsible for export, development of all the collections and the purchase of precious stones. and Guido who was born in 1968, starting work as sales director, and now the chief executive officer.
Over the years, other prestigious brands were added to Damiani, including Salvini, which was born in 1986, and Alfieri & St. Jhon, recognized as a brand in Italy since 1977. In 1997, Damiani International BV was established, with headquarters in Amsterdam and an operating branch in Switzerland, which also controlled Damiani Japan K.K. (Tokyo, 1998) and Damiani USA Corp. (NY, 2000). Each branch represented a real operative base with all the typical functions of a structured and strong international group.
In 2000 Bliss was created, launched, and promoted through New Mood S.p.a., which was controlled by the group. In 2001, with the aim of optimizing business processes, it was decided to transition to using the ERP/SAP information system and the group’s budget was subjected to a voluntary certification.
In April 2002 the Damiani Manufacturing Company, led by Simone Rizzetto and his brother Christian, receives the ISO 9001 quality certification. This certification, recognized at national and international levels, recognizes the quality of precious metals, gems, and pearls selected by expert gemologists according to the place of origin, manufacture, and finishing of the jewellery.
In October with 130 linear feet of shop windows and two floors at the corner of via Montenapoleone and via Sant’Andrea in Milan, a new store is opened. This store follows the concept of other stores already opened abroad in Tokyo, Berlin, Dubai, and Honolulu. The project is by the architect Antonio Citterio. Soon there are four stores in Milan, with a total of 25 boutiques all over the world.
Also, after several failed negotiations, the Damiani Group acquires a significant minority stake in the Pomellato Group. The vice president and designer of Damiani, Silvia Damiani, declares her strong confidence in the decades-long experience of Giuseppe Rabolini, the president of Pomellato, whose turnover is about €55 million. For its part, the group closes the year 2001 with a turnover of €219 million and profits of €3.1 million. In 2002, investments remain steady at €36 million.
At this time, Damiani enters the watch industry. The men’s watch Ego Oversize, manufactured in Switzerland, is entirely designed by the griffe‘s style department. There are three versions with a total of seven models.
In February 2003 the brand opens two new stores, in Kiev and Moscow. Also, Damiani collaborates with the soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful. Some scenes are shot in Portofino. For the occasion, during a presentation, the actors and personalities show off Damiani watches and jewellery. June marks the opening in Paris of the international exhibit Diamonds and the Power of Love, organized by Diamond Trading Company. There are unique pieces from the most important international jewellers. Damiani presents the Chakra necklace, a two-section cascade of diamonds symbolizing the union between man and woman.
The firm opens a new boutique on Place Vendôme. In the boutique there is an exhibition of unique pieces created by Damiani that have received the De Beers Diamonds International Award, which is the prestigious Oscar for jewelry, 18 times, which 4 where won by Calderoni, a historic Milanese jewelry brand, acquired by the group in 2006. Damiani holds the world record of De Beers Diamonds International Award. The Damiani group is owned entirely by the family, now in its third generation. In December the firm celebrates 80 years of prestige in the world of jewellry with an exhibition. On display are 8 exclusive and unique pieces, including a necklace composed of 1,370 diamonds with 100 carats.
In 2005, after ending the previous year with revenue of €180 million, Guido Grassi Damiani, the general manager of the group, talks about the future with an eye on exports and aims at increasing the turnover, of which 80% presently comes from the Italian market. Later, in 2007, the group went public and was listed in the Milan stock exchange, a very important step in its growth, affirming Damiani as one of the leaders in the international jewelry market. In 2008 Damiani acquired Rocca, the only franchising at the high end of the Italian market, and one of the very few in the world.
On April 3, 2009 the Damiani Shareholders Meeting decided on the new Management Board (till March 2012, when the budget had to be approved) was as followed: Guido Grassi Damiani is President and CEO, Giorgio Grassi Damiani and Silvia Grassi Damiani Vice Presidents and Executive Directors, Stefano Graidi Executive Board Member, Giancarlo Malerba Non-Executive Director, Roberta Benaglia and Fabrizio Redaelli Non-executive and independent directors.
In November 2010 The Clean Water project, which was developed in collaboration with Sharon Stone, achieved its first important result. This project was created to build clean water wells to South Africa where an important diamond supply is located. The Maji Collection was designed for this project to collect money from its sales.
In 2011 the Company became the first jewelry brand to reveal its prices on the internet for complete transparency. At this time, Damiani owned 55 flagship stores all over the world, located in the main streets of Italian and international fashion locations including Milan on via Montenapoleone, Rome on via dei Condotti, Paris on Place Vendôme, NY on Madison Avenue, and Tokyo on Ginza. In August Damiani implemented special project for the women who suffered from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, where a selection of must-have products and special collections were put on sale. The raised money was donated to Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning.
In 2012 Damiani won the Robb Report of the Best 2012 award with their Burlesque Bracelet. Next year, with their Vulcania necklace, the company was granted second time to the Best Annual Fine Jewelry Award. The necklace that took more than 530 hours to finish and became a piece of art with its diamond, placed in the traditional Damiani ‘apparent chaos’ setting.
On February 2012, Damiani announced a strategic agreement with Itochu, a Japanese international group: this contract made Itochu part of the capital of the Damiani Japan K.K., with a minority stake of 14%, through a private capital increase. Later in May, an exclusive distribution agreement was concluded with Hendgeli, the leader of watches and jewelry distribution in China. By 2014 Damiani was the first jewelry brand to land in Mongolia, Ulan Bator, in the Central Tower Mall.
For their campaigns, Damiani always collaborates with strong women like Sharon Stone, Chiara Mastroianni and Sophia Loren who portrayed the values of the brand. Only a piece created intricately by the hands of a passionate, dedicated and deep-rooted creator can portray the values of the Damiani women.
In April 2013, Sophia Lauren took part in a series of events in Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Seven new pieces were added to the existent Sophia Lauren collection and launched in the tour.
In June 2014 the company celebrated its 90th year anniversary with an exhibition. Damiani’s 18 awarded masterpiece jewelry pieces were exhibited along with the prizes and a special collection in Florence from 19th of June to 7th of September.
Next year in September, Damiani participated in the Italian Open Golf Tournament as a main sponsor. The reason behind this sponsorship is that the values of the company match with the ideology of the sport. Both believe in the power of hard work, focus and being prepared.
In February 2016 the brand launched a collaboration with Microsoft in which they produced a precious smartphone case for the new Microsoft Lumia 950. Also, the company was granted the Ethical Company Prize due to their various social projects.
Currently, the brand is a winner of 18 awards, has 61 direct and 17 franchised stores all over the world. And the Damiani Group ended the 2017 with consolidated revenues from sales equal to 161.5 million euros (+4.8% at current exchange rates compared with 2016).
Diesel was established in 1978 by Renzo Rosso together with other textile entrepreneurs in the Veneto. He chose this name because it is easy to understand and is pronounced the same around the world. At that time, Diesel was also considered as an alternative energy and so the word stood as a synonym to alternative taste in fashion. In 1985 Renzo Russo acquired full control of Diesel.
In 1991 Diesel launched its first advertising campaign called For Successful Living. The campaign did phenomenally and established a reputation for innovative marketing. Then, in 1995 the brand launched its own website, it was amongst the very first fashion companies to do so. Later, in 1996, the brand opened its first few flagship stores in New York, Rome and London.
In 2000 Diesel acquired Staff International, an Italian manufacturer and distributor of Maison Margiela, Marni Men, Dsquared2, Just Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood. Two years later Renzo Rosso became a majority shareholder of Maison Martin Margiela. In July 2000 Diesel Iberia, the 12th foreign subsidiary, expands further in the Spanish market. In Barcelona, it opens a new showroom with offices in Plaza de Cataloea. In Spain there are 350 single-brand boutiques and 12 more are expected within 2004. The turnover in Spain is equivalent to 17.6 billion liras. Later, Renzo Rosso, number one and president of the group, announces that Diesel’s global turnover for the year is expected to be 700 billion liras.
Creative Director: Kosta Murkudis
In September Kosta Murkudis, a young Greek designer, is appointed creative director of New York Industrie, the casual clothing line produced by Diesel International. In addition to creating the men’s and women’s collections, the designer will supervise the advertising campaign. He appears on the cover of W, the monthly of Women’s Wear Daily, an honor that fell to Tom Ford in July.
Diesel receives the Made in Italy award, a prestigious American prize within the fashion industry in January 2001. The company intends to expand further in the U.S. It was reported sales increased by one-third over the previous year. Also, by 2004, somewhere between 10 to 35 new shops are expected. At Pitti Bimboin June 2002, the company presents Diesel Kids, a celebration of denim. Every imaginable kind of denim is presented, with infinite variation, from stonewashed to torn and color-sprayed models.
Supporting Young Talent
In July 2002 the company is a sponsor and partner of the Trieste agency Eve, which has conceived and organized the first presentation of an award for young creative designers, called It’s One (International Talent Support), which is to be followed each year by It’s Two, It’s Three, etc. Wilbert Das, the creative director of Diesel, has worked with Victor Bellaish on the selection of 33 finalists from all over the world. The award, won by Einav Zucker, consists of €13,000 with which the winner can start his own atelier and create a new Collection for the following year’s competition. The Diesel Award, for €2,500, which went to Daniele Controversio, offers the opportunity to produce and distribute in the best Diesel shops a mini-Collection of 5 pieces labeled with the name of the young designer.
OTB Group Acquires Maison Margiela
In 2002 Renzo Russo founds the OTB group which became the parent company of fashion brands Diesel, Maison Margiela, and companies Staff International, specialized in ready-to-wear production and distribution. OTB group acquires the maison Martin Margiela. This Belgian designer, who went to school in Antwerp, already an assistant to Jean-Paul Gaultier, works for Hermés, but since 1988 has also had his own maison in Paris. But he needed a strong partner to help him develop further, and he found one in Italy, in the person of Renzo Rosso. The head of Diesel intends to promote a five-year development strategy for the brand.
In September 2002 DieselStyleLab, the men and women’s avant-guard line, chooses New York for the first time and returns to the runways of the Bryant Park Pavilion after several years away, for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The line was launched in 1998 but, after having presented in London (September 1998, October 1999) and Paris (October 1999), it undergoes a period of static presentations during Milan’s Fashion Week.
Forbes magazine lists Diesel among the 32 top luxury brands. The return to the formula of runway presentations and the choice of New York also indicate a strategic change and particular interest in the American market. The Collection is often inspired by the aesthetic-cultural contrast between East and West, as in the typical black leather jacket manufactured in a Japanese fabric with kimono-shaped sleeves.
Back in 2001, Diesel’s U.S. turnover hit $93 million, an increase of 43%. By October 2002 the company receives “high profits with double-digit growth in sales, an increase of 10% over the €365 million of 2001, which had already increased 38.8%.” This is the Diesel group forecast for 2002, as declared by Renzo Rosso at the Milan Fashion Global Summit. The group plans a thorough review of the points-of-sale, in which the single-brand shops, of which there are 180, including 95 company-owned, are to be favored over the multi-brands.
In June 2003 Daniele Controversio, winner of the Diesel Award 2002 in Trieste, joins the creative staff of DieselStyleLab. Also, the women’s shoe Collection by Diesel receives a prize at the Sportswear International Fashion Awards (SIFAS). Diesel shoes are manufactured under license by Global Brand Marketing Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif., which sells its products in more than 130 countries. It owns the Pony and Dry-shod brands and is a licensee for Nautica, Mecca, and Xoxo shoes.
In September 2003 Australia is Diesel’s new target market. The first store opens in Sydney. Another one is to open soon in Melbourne. In December The turnover is reported €780 million, of which 85% comes from abroad. The gross operating margin of 22%, with a net profit of €74.8 million, almost hits 10%. The cash flow is €120 million. Renzo Rosso’s motto;
“Fashion companies must be directed by their managers. Real industrial managers must lead their companies and make every single area more professional. That’s what I did.” As to decentralization, he maintains that “some production cannot continue here: it is the price market’s rule. If you go too far away, you won’t survive. The important thing is that the brains stay in Italy.”
Diesel Marketing Strategy
The brand portrays itself as someone who questions current trends, while allowing their own taste to lead them. The message communicated is usually a mix of irony, black comedy and tongue-in-cheek humor that garners both praise and backlash. This combination of rebellious image with the classic 1950’s American culture has introduced some of the most timeless pieces, such as, biker style, leather jacket and the denim.
“We think to be cool is better than to be big”, said Rosso. It is really time for the brand to become cool and fresh again and so the current rebooting strategy of Diesel is not about change; it’s about going back to the origins. The interest of the brand lies in culture, music and people. The challenge lies in breaking down people’s existing perceptions of Diesel, instead make them feel extraordinary.
The cohesive collection of Diesel sets itself apart from the rest by introducing an ‘alternative taste in fashion’. Their main power lies in the transformation of the year old working class look into luxury. They thrive on breaking the societal stereotypes through its gender“less” style statement that provides an individualistic voice to its audience.
Diesel’s reboot of the entire brand is about elevating the quality and revamping the product, both within and beyond denim. It’s about bringing fresh air and modernity to the collections. The biggest change is in ladies’ apparel, an innovative mix of leather with a feminine touch. The brand is challenging its own knowledge to bring a full-blown collection that is appropriate for the advanced contemporary market.
Through 2004 the company’s communications strategy continues. A new advertising campaign has also been promoted. “There are 30 acid, dreamy, daily trips, the so-called day dreams,” explains Antonella Rossi, the marketing director. “They are the dreams of each one of the 30 protagonists who present the pieces of our Collection; but then, in the video, these dreams shift towards rather uneasy, ironic, atmospheres.” Irony, innovation, unpredictability, creativity, desecration: these are the strong elements of Diesel’s communication.
Then, in October Renzo Rosso sells two thirds of his Only The Brave Srl shares, the family holding which controls the Diesel group, to his oldest sons, Andrea and Stefano. “They asked me to teach them how to manage a company: I’m happy because I have always feared that one day they may prefer to stay out of the family business.”
By December, Diesel, the owner of Margiela, intends to double the turnover of the Belgian maison in the next five years (the present turnover is about €30 million). Excellent competitive and economic-financial results for the group. The turnover is €1,004.2 million (€909 million from the Diesel brand), up 27.5% over the €788 million of 2003. The pre-tax results are excellent: €204 million, against €128.8 million in 2003, with a net profit of €112.2 million, an increase of 50% compared to the €74.8 million of 2003. The net borrowing has gone down, from €167.5 million to €48.8 million. At December 31st 2004, the group had 173 directly managed stores, of which 21 opened in 2004, while the workforce increased from 2,561 in 2003 to 3,348 in 2004.
In recent years, Diesel has reorganized its market strategy, positioning the brand in a premium segment, investing in research and quality, reorganizing the distribution structure, and reducing the world-wide points-of-sale from 10,000 to 5,000. Also excellent are the results for Dsquared, a brand acquired in 2001. The Martin Margiela brand has also grown consistently.
In 2005 the conquest of the Spanish market continues. After the opening of a first store in Barcelona in 2002, there are openings in Bilbao, Madrid, and Valencia, and a second one in Barcelona. Also, in May a new store opens in Hong Kong.
In 2007 Diesel signed a partnership with L’Oréal’s luxury product division to launch the first line of fragrances, which is called ‘Fuel for Life’. More collaborations were done the following year with Fiat and Adidas.
Diesel Black and Gold
A new premium sophisticated clothing collection, Diesel Black Gold, was launched in early 2008 at the New York fashion week. In the same year Diesel launched its home and textile collection. And later the OTB group acquired Victor & Rolf. Greek designer Sophia Kokosalaki started to play primary role in the collection from FW 2010, her first debut as Diesel Black Gold female designer was in New York on February 2010.
In 2010, the companies most controversial campaign “Be Stupid” won a Grand Prix in the Outdoor Lions category at Cannes but was banned in the U.K. by the Advertising Standards Authority. Same year, a deal was signed with the Italian Ducati team of MotoGP. Diesel created its presence by creating race suits and clothing for the Ducati team.
OTB Group Acquires Marni
In 2013 Nicola Formichetti was appointed as the new Artistic director of Diesel, and later in 2014, he unveiled his first fall/winter collection in Venice. Meanwhile the OTB group, parent company of Diesel, bought 61% stake in Italian brand Marni, and in November 2015, OTB acquired the totality of Marni.
2016 marks brand’s 30 years of presence in Japan. To celebrate the brand held an exhibition with Diesel’s key denim look from 1978 to now, furthermore, brand launched three collaboration collections exclusively distributed in Japan.
In April of 2017, Diesel has revealed its charitable collaboration with supermodel Naomi Campbell in aid of her Fashion For Relief initiative, called Child At Heart. This project featured colourful love hearts and ladybird designs created by children attending the Diesel HQ kindergarten in Italy.
The company is currently in the mindset to reboot the brand with the mission to recapture the hip factor that made it great in the 1990s. Currently, OTB is the parent company of Diesel. Along with Maison Margiela, Marni, Paula Cademartori, Viktor & Rolf, and Brave Kid, specialized in childrenswear production and distribution. Also, Staff International, manufacturer and distributor of DSquared², Just Cavalli, Maison Margiela, Marni and Vivienne Westwood.
Christian Dior (1905-1957). A tailor and a designer who was among the most important figures in all of French haute couture. Dior was born in Gramville, in northwestern France. He had a happy childhood in Paris, as well as on holiday in Normandy, in which he was free to abandon himself to his genius for drawing and to a real talent in making costumes for carnival and for informal parties at home.
He already had a definite instinct for art and for the joy of living. He had a clear calling for artistic creation, supported by constant visits to museums and galleries, would emerge only later. After interrupting his university studies in political science, and having put aside the idea of a diplomatic career, which was desired for him by his parents, he started a partnership with his friend Jean Bonjean, the owner of an art gallery in Paris. In this art gallery there where the main figures of the various avant-guards of the 20th century exhibited their works.
Designer at Piguet and Lucien Lelong
But his mother’s death and the bankruptcy of his father’s business changed his life, making his tormented youth the exact opposite of his happy childhood. In 1934, he fell seriously ill with tuberculosis. After a year of recovery in Spain, he went back to Paris and began to work on the fashion section of the weekly Le Figaro Illustré. He designed hats and began to sell sketches of clothing and accessories to several fashion houses. This lean period lasted 7 years, until 1938, when he found a steady job as a clothing designer at the maison Piguet. One of his first successes was a very full skirt that could be worn even in the daytime.
Then, the outbreak of World War II and his service with the army engineers put a stop to everything. The signing of the armistice found him in the south of France where, in his father’s house, he would spend a year and a half enjoying nature and the simple life of a village. Only the insistence of his friends convinced him to return to Paris, in 1941. His place at Piguet wasn’t there waiting for him, but he did join the maison of Lucien Lelong, where Balmain also worked as an assistant. There, for many seasons, he would design the collections, creating very tight skirts as well as flared skirts, bringing success not only to Lelong, but to himself as well, because he became the head dress designer.
The Beginning: Dior Maison
By now, he felt ready to manage a maison of his own and knew he could count on an innate talent for business. It was 1946, the year of his partnership with Boussac, who financed him with the considerable sum, for the time, of 60 million francs. In this adventure he was joined by some of Lelong’s key people, such as Raymonde Zehnacker, Marguerite Carré, and Mitza Bricard. A young Pierre Cardin was hired as cutter. His team went to work immediately, in the building on Avenue Montaigne.
The New Look
In the collective memory, he is linked to the New Look, which, on February 12th 1947, made him famous in one day. It was his first Collection. After the morning presentation, he was pushed out on the balcony of his atelier at Avenue Montaigne 30 to salute a crowd of applauding women. The Paris newspapers were on strike, and so the explosion set off by Dior was felt first in America, where Carmel Snow, the director of Harper’s Bazaar said, “It’s a new look.”
The women’s collection, offered in the Corolla line, later called the New Look, was extremely new in its accentuated femininity, but with an antique touch: a very tiny waist (the corset and girdle were back, like a sudden jump into the past), high breasts, small shoulders, and long, full skirts with tulle petticoats to increase the bulk. It was a look backwards compared to the liberated body of Poiret and the one caressed by Chanel. It was a return to an aristocratic elegance, and also to a battle of hems, from Collection to Collection.
Dior returned the fashion world back to femininity. He launched immense, long blossoming skirts, with waists squeezed by small bodice-jackets, made half the women in Europe dream and tremble with trepidation. His intuition was striking, but the event which really decided his future was a meeting with Marcel Boussac. The French textile entrepreneur had everything to gain from a lifting of the wartime restrictions on fabrics, and each of Dior’s swaying skirts consumed more than 16 yards of fabric, while an evening dress took as much as 27 yards.
Avenue Montaigne, an address which is still today considered magical and pivotal in the expansion and increase in places and regions of a charismatic empire, whose charm was always respectful of the furnishings and atmosphere chosen by Dior: Louis XV armchairs with the grey-and-white medallion that was a symbol of the maison on the back. Another motif associated with the maison was the lily of the valley, used with Dior’s first perfume, Diorissimo, in 1948, and later sprayed generously on the pearl grey fitted carpet in the days of Dior’s many presentations.
Dior is Dior: A Splendid Atelier
The object of both praise and invective, Dior had, by now, become Dior: a splendid atelier with a staff of 85 workers. He could change his style, and he did, naming many lines after letters of the alphabet, such as the H, A, and Y lines. He was able to revive the artisanal skills of the “petites mains,” and could amaze people with hard-to-figure-out technical devices which could make the cut of a garment crushproof.
When Dior was awarded with the recognition of Neiman Marcus, received in America, the designer adjusted his approach to appeal to a more dynamic post-war woman. He lifted the skirts at the back (in 1948), cut soft jackets, and presented tapered skirts (in 1949), making them shorter the following year, matching them with sack-shaped jackets with a horseshoe neck. In 1954 the silhouette became softer, waists were no longer squeezed in an H-line, and a love-hate relationship with the sack dress was about to begin.
In 1955 came the A line and the Y line, with the dominating motifs the large V necks and dresses matched with immense stoles. In that same year his pursuit of the caftan had a marked effect on fashion, with a delicate high-waist dress in chiffon and a sheath dress as tight as a corset. From perfumes to prêt-à-porter, from accessories to underwear, with licenses and new boutiques in Latin America and Cuba, Dior seemed to want to put every possible avenue of distribution under his own name in order to guarantee its long life.
He launched stiletto heels and excelled in the attention given to accessories such as hats, gloves, and jewellery.
New designer: Yves Saint Laurent
In 1957, the maison presented Dior’s last Collection, a variation on the theme of the vareuse, a kind of blouse with buttoned flap pockets that falls loosely at the sides and is often worn with a khaki bush jacket. Christian Dior passed away in the Summer of 1957 in Montecatini. He became an immortal, and one of the most admired haute couture empires in the world became a legend.
The 1958 Collection would be designed by Yves Saint-Laurent, who three years before had become Dior’s assistant and heir. The Collection was called Trapezium and it was a triumph. Called for military service in 1960, Saint-Laurent would, on his return, create his own atelier, as his place at Dior had been taken by Marc Bohan, someone who, over thirty years, would express the spirit of the founder in a measured and creatively elegant way.
New Leadership: Bernard Arnault
In 1988, a big retrospective at the Pavillon Marsan in the Musée des Arts de la Mode at the Louvre celebrated Dior and the new leadership of Bernard Arnault, the wizard of the luxury goods business. In that same year, the maison opened its first boutique in New York, as the number one French company in the U.S. did not yet have a point-of-sale in the Big Apple. The following year, Marc Bohan left. Then the Italian Gianfranco Ferré arrived.
In four annual collections of high fashion and prêt-à-porter, some of which were memorable, starting with revived images of early Dior and gradually emphasizing a timeless luxury that was daring and magic in its opulence. He developed a range of creativity suitable to both the present day and to the prestige of an illustrious maison, marked by the perfumes Dune and Dolce Vita. In more recent times, after Ferré’s return to Italy, the impeccable beauty typical of the griffe wasn’t always apparent in the Collections of John Galliano, who joined Dior as Creative Director in 1996, which were more prone to irony and excess than to the voluptuous grace of Dior’s perfection. Also, later in July 2000 the 32 year old French-Tunisian designer Hedi Slimane takes over the men’s prêt-à-porter from Patrick Lavoix.
By January 2002 Dior renews Sàfilo’s license to produce and distribute the eyeglass Collection manufactured by them since 1996 and which, in the following year, will also have a men’s line. The year 2001 closes with a deficit. Christian Dior SA Holding, owned 65% by Bernard Arnault, shows a loss of €95 million, on a 6% increase in sales, with revenues of €12.567 billion. The loss is attributed to reorganization costs of the retail operations and to investments needed to reorganize the U.S. business after September 11th. In 2000, the profit was €251 million.
In April 2002 Dior opens a shop in Rome, in one of the most evocative places in the city, the corner of via Condotti overlooking Piazza di Spagna. A small space is reserved for the jewellery designer Victoire de Castellane. Later, in June Hedi Slimane is nominated best designer of the year. The prize is given by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. By the end of 2002, the company shows a net profit of €178 million, against a loss of €95 million in 2001. The operating profit has increased 31%.
In March 2003 Vincenzo Moccia, 43, becomes director of Dior Italy, after having been director of Bulgari Italy and of Gucci for northern Italy. The Italian market has contributed a turnover of €492 million (an increase of 41%) and an operating profit of €33 million to Dior.
In Paris, the Dior woman surprises once again and is dressed in latex from head to toe. Galliano has designed the 2004 prêt-à-porter Collection for his usual crazy, sexy, and exaggerated woman, half geisha and half clown, part Japanese and part Chinese. There are skirts and miniskirts in feathered tulle, filmy and billowing, worn with long jackets; latex skirts that look like a second skin but are decorated with a thousand flowers; blouses that are tight on the hips, similar to mini-dresses and draped like a peplum, with bat-like sleeves; very tight trousers with laces that reach the waist; clouds of silk and chiffon; high heels; platform shoes 8 inches high with ankle laces and very thin strings sparkling with studs; colored fur coats; fake flower-patterned kimonos; and important and over-the-top op-art dresses with women covered up to the nose by a latex muzzle.
Later in April, Sidney Toledano, the president of Christian Dior SA announced that 15 new boutiques will be opened worldwide in addition to the current 145. In 2002 there were 23 new boutiques, and in 2003 there were 15, part of 200 planned within 2007. In Paris, where there already are 15, a new mega-store is opened on Rue Royale.
100 Year Celebration of Christian Dior’s Birth
2005 marks the centennial celebration of Christian Dior’s birth. To celebrate the anniversary, the French Minister of Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, opens the exhibit “L’Homme du Siècle” in Granville, in Dior’s childhood home, which is now a museum, Les Rumbs. The celebrations continue in Paris, during Fashion Week, with a show that covers Dior’s entire life, with history, the theater, his mother in an Edwardian-style dress, the little boy Christian in a sailor’s suit, and so on, until his success with the divas who visited his atelier. The show is “played” by today’s top models, and mentions his passion for dancing and Peru. Later in 2007, Hedi Slimane left the fashion house and Kris Van Assche replaced her as artistic director.
In april 2008 Sidney Toledano, president and CEO of Christian Dior Couture, announces the nomination of, Delphine Arnault Gancia, as general Vice Director of Christian Dior Couture. This year is characterized by the crisis that affected the entire world, but Sidney Toledano and John Galliano remain successful in having very high revenues, mostly due to the American market. They declare that accessories, woman’s ready-to-wear and Haute Couture increased the business. In 2008, Christian Dior Group records €8.2 billions of sales, gaining 11% compared to the previous year and a net income of €352 millions. All this is mostly due to the emergent markets China, Russia and Middle East.
In 2009, Dior launches the new advertising campaign for the Lady Dior bag, with the french actress Marion Cotillard as testimonial. Camille Miceli, nominated artistic director of costume jewellery and artistic advisor, enters the group and in this period, after nine years, the high jewellery and watches shop reopen in the french capital.
In 2010, Christian Dior and Safilo Group announces that their license agreement for design, world wide production and distribution of the Dior eyewear and sunglasses collection has been extended to december 31 2017. This year, the revenues amounts to €21.1 billion with an increase of 19% compared to 2009, due to the good performances in Europe, Asia and Usa. On these bases, Christian Dior announces the project of opening and renewal of boutiques on high potential markets.
John Galliano Fired
In 2011 after being house’s creative director for 15 years, John Galliano was fired by Dior because of making antisemitic and racist insults in a drunken rant. His Autumn/Winter 2011 fashion show went on during Paris Fashion Week without him. Also, during this period Pushkin museum of Moscow praises the maison Dior with the exhibition with the title of “Inspiration Dior”. The exhibition tells the story of the maison through the works of art that have inspired monsieur Christian Dior.
Later in 2012, Raf Simons was pointed as chief creative director. The Belgian designer, aged 44, will be responsible of the women Haute Couture collections, ready-to-wear and accessories. The french fashion house declares that Simons will project the style of the maison towards the 21°century, creating a real change. Shortly after the announcement of Raf Simons entry, his first collection of Haute Couture is presented in Paris. It was a collection in the tradition of the maison, revisited in a modern and architectural key, with his minimalist style and very far from the style of Galliano. The designer astounds with one of the best collections of the brand. A real selection of ideas from a designer with a rare gift: the ability of mixing modernity with history.
In 2012, Dior launch its first online magazine, called Diormag. The news on the website are updated daily with informations regarding the global activities of the griffe. After one year waiting, on april 9 2012 the Raf Simons era starts, as he is nominated the new artistic director of the maison. In 2013, maison Dior engages the actress Jennifer Laurence as testimonial of the advertising campaign for Miss Dior bag, with $20 million contract for three years.
After one year from Raf Simons entry in the french maison, Christian DiorCouture reveals that profits have increased of 31%, while incomes have grown of 14%. Such results are also due to the influence of Kris Van Assche, creative director of menswear department. In the meanwhile, Delphine Arnault Gancia, daughter of Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH group, announces her decision to give up her collaboration with the maison Dior to work exclusively for Louis Vuitton.
During an interview in 2014, Sidney Toledano confirms that their success came from the very high quality of their production, exalting Made in Italy and promoting productive firms also in Veneto and in Tuscany. Besides, he declares that the maison produces in Italy because it is one of the few countries where it is mantained a beautiful craftmanship, due to the familiar tradition. He had already told Arnault that Lady Dior bag could be made only in Florence in the ’90s.
In 2015, Raf Simons decides to engage pop star Rihanna as testimonial for the “Secret Garden” campaign. It is a big step forward, as in seventy years of the brand history she is the first black woman. Serge Brunschwig, Dior Chief operating officer up till now, achieves the role of Dior Homme division president. In the same year, Dior together with Chanel and Louis Vuitton are in the lead of the ranking made by Brandwatch considering the best and the more influential brands on social media.
Maria Grazia Chiuri
After 3 years, on October 2015, Raf Simons has decided not to renew his contract and to leave Dior for personal reasons. The inside team of the french griffe is asked to design the spring\summer 2016 couture collection and the fall\winter 2016-2017 ready-to-wear collection. Because of the exit of Raf Simons, the revenues show a slight slowdown in the second semester of the exercise, with €961 million in sales.
In july 2016, Maria Grazia Chiuri became the first female creative director at Dior in its 70 years of history. A woman with a long career in fashion, first for Fendi and then for Valentino, always close to Pierpaolo Piccioli. M.G. Chiuri is the first woman to take the reins of the brand: to date there have been only man like Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferrè, John Galliano and Raf Simons. The appointment of an Italian woman confirms the renewal of the made in Italy creativity.
In 2016, Dior flies to Melbourne to celebrate seventy years of the maison. The work of the french couturier is the protagonist of a retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria.
On December 31 2016, Safilo and Dior renewed their agreement till 2020 for the design, production and distribution of the eyewear and sunglasses collections. Furthermore, this period is characterized by the exploit of Alessandro Micheli slippers and the T-shirts with revolutionary and feminist slogans by Maria grazia Chiuri.
2017 marks the 70th anniversary for Dior, the French fashion house celebrated its anniversary with exhibition called “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams”. The exhibition took place in Musée des Arts Décoratifs in paris, where more than 300 breathtaking gowns from across decades were displayed.
Also, Baby Dior arrives on Instagram. Dior is one of the few brands to have created an account dedicated exclusively to childrens wear. Also, Natalie Portman has become the testimonial for the Miss Dior fragrance, producing several beautiful floral campaigns. She is invited to the south of France to the harvest the Rose de Grasse, a rare and precious flower at the heart of the Miss Dior fragrance.
Dior Homme is on the point of entering the Rinascente Duomo, Milano, after the closing up of via Montenapoleone store due to unsatisfactory sales.
Wendy (1950). English designer. A graduate of the Medway College of Art and Middlesex Polytechnic, Dagworthy launched her ready-to-wear Collection in London in 1972, and quickly developed an international reputation for her casually youthful designs for men and women. Dagworthy often integrated folkloric elements in her clothes, and experimented with contrasting fabrics and patterns, such as ticking and ikat. She closed her company in 1988. She was a member and later director of London Designer Collections, and in September 1998 was named Professor of Fashion at the Royal College of Art.
The Golden Thimble is the French high fashion award created in 1976 by the journalist Pierre Yves Guillen. Until January 1994, it was given twice a year, at the end of every Collection. Among the winners have been Madame Grés (July 1976), Cardin (January 1977, January 1979), Givenchy (July 1978), Ungaro (January 1980, July 1981), Laroche (July 1985), Lacroix (January 1986 and January 1988), Lagerfeld for Chanel (July 1986), Ferré for Dior (July 1989), Rabanne (January 1990), and Montana for Lanvin (July 1990 and January 1991). Since 1993 it has been called Dé d’Or Européen de la Mode and in July 1993 was given to Lauren. In 1994 it was given to Mortensen for Scherrer.
Oscar (1932). American designer. Born in Santo Domingo, De la Renta left the Dominican Republic to study art at the San Fernando Academy in Madrid. He developed an interest in sketching fashion designs, and his artistic talent led to a job working as an assistant to Balenciaga. In 1961 he moved to Lanvin, in Paris, where he assisted another Spanish-born designer, Castillo. In 1963 De la Renta left Europe for New York, where he began designing the fashion Collections for Elizabeth Arden. Two years later he founded his own fashion house, and, in Collections dedicated to themes such as ‘Gypsies’ and ‘Russia,’ quickly acquired a reputation for creating clothes with rich fabrics and a vibrant palette. Since then, and over the ensuing four decades, De la Renta has developed a distinctively American style of luxury that comes through strongly in both tailored daywear and lavishly decorated evening clothes. His fashion house also produces accessories, underwear and fragrances. In 1992 he was named artistic director of Balmain.
After ten years as design director of Balmain, De la Renta resigns his post, citing health reasons, and presents his own haute couture Collection in Paris. Laurent Mercier takes over as creative director of Balmain.
De la Renta is one of 11 designers invited to Beijing for the Fur Show Beijing 2002. Other U.S. designers include Vera Wang, Peter Som and Han-Feng, while Cavalli, Ferré and Max Mara represent Italy, and Lacroix, Givenchy, Gaultier and Rykiel are invited from France.
Signs a three-year licensing agreement with Rose Tree Linens of Dallas to launch a line of household linens for Spring-Summer 2004.
A new women’s sportswear Collection, O Oscar, is launched under a licensing agreement with the Kellwood Company. The new line includes accessories, lingerie and beachwear, with retail price points lower than the designer’s top ready-to-wear lines.
Alex Bolen, the designer’s son-in-law and director of corporate development since 2003, is appointed CEO. At the same time, Rachel Barnett resigns as Senior Vice-President after ten years with the firm.
Giuseppe Celio, formerly with Gianni Versace Distribution, is appointed Chief Financial Officer.