(1820-1910). Pseudonym of the French photographer Gaspar-Felix Tournachon. Born in Paris to a family of printers, he studied medicine and worked for various newspapers, both as a writer and a caricaturist, for which he adopted the name Nadar, and which he continued to use as a photographer. Closely involved with the progressive circles of the socialist and positivist movements, he was a pioneer of medical photography, aerostatic photography (taken from a hot-air balloon) and reportage, although he became famous for his extraordinarily refined portraits. Among the many activities that took place in the famous studio at 35 Boulevard des Capucines was Nadar’s experiments in fashion photography.
French ready-made clothing company. Originally it was called Naphtaline, a boutique opened in Paris in 1973 by the brothers Gérard and Patrick Pariente. Success came five years later when the pair (born in Tunisia in 1950 and 1955 respectively) presented their first Naf Naf collection. From then on, they enjoyed increasing fortunes in the fashion world, thanks to their choices of fabric and the collections’ excellent value for money. For its 25th anniversary, Naf Naf took a new direction, abandoning the playful image of the first years, and pensioning off the original piglet logo in favor of a more adult look. The brothers changed the interior décor of their retail stores, as well as their target market, paying greater attention to the female public aged between 18 and 25 years. In 1995, two megastores were opened on the Champs-Elysées and at Les Halles. Soon after, it was the turn of Nice and, in 1997, Moscow. The products made by the Paris company are available in 27 countries, 20 of which are European. There are 138 megastores in France.
&Quad;2002 was a good year for the group, which also owns Chevignon, Chevignon Kids and Naf Naf Enfant, with a turnover that reached 245.5 million euros (30% of which is made in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Russia). Their net profits were approximately 14 million euros, an increase of 22% compared with the previous year.
Yoichi (1957). Japanese designer. He studied for a diploma in 1980 at the Mode Fashion Academy. He became the indispensable assistant to Tokyo Kumagai until 1987. He launched his first collection in 1992 and won the Mainichi Fashion Award, given to young designers. Five years later, he debuted in Paris during Fashion Week. He designed the uniforms for Japan Asia Airlines. For Fall-Winter 2003-2004, his runway designs were patterned asymmetrically: pants with white lozenges under black jackets, suits with zigzag motifs, and muslin-spotted tops. Particular care was dedicated to accessories, such as long leather gloves, sometimes decorated with buttons that extended high up the forearms.
Italian textile company founded in 1916 by Riccardo Naj-Oleari. Up until the 1970s, it mainly produced coarse textiles for ecclesiastical wear, but under the management of the third generation of the family — the brothers Angelo, Riccardo and Giancarlo — it began to manufacture printed textiles and waterproof fabrics for umbrellas. The first store opened in Milan in 1975. During those years, in parallel with Laura Ashley, the company took advantage of the fashion for textiles with small designs. In 1996, it was acquired by the Biella group Modafil. Currently, it produces printed cotton textiles, children’s clothing and a line of objects, bags, and stationery. It employs 50 members of staff, and has four own-brand stores in Italy. The product ranges have been extended to include perfumes, beauty products, sunglasses, umbrellas, and even a specially designed ergonomic chair.
Jean-Paul (1948). Fashion creator from 1985 to 1987, art collector, photographer, pianist. He was born in Buenos Aires and studied Economics in Paris. In 1978, he met and married Denise Sarrault, a famous model from the 1950s and 1960s, who was particularly used by Givenchy. For her, and with her, he designed a hat collection in 1985, which was mentioned in Womens Wear Daily; in 1986, he designed a line of hats for Emmanuelle Khanh and an haute couture collection called Denise Sarrault that was shown at the Hotel Plaza in Paris. In 1988, the couple opened a boutique, but it was short-lived.
Hiromichi (1942). Japanese designer, son of a Shinto priest, artist with a multifaceted personality. He moved from Tokyo to Paris, intending to buy antique toys, and stayed to work as a cinema critic. Soon he also began to develop his passion for fashion and became famous in his own country as a designer for TV and music stars. In 1991, he created his first collection of prêt-à-porter, which reflected his fantastical, almost playful, style. He showed on the runway in Paris for the first time in 1998. He is one of a group of fashion designers, which includes Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent and Fiorucci, who were employed to create clothing for the dolls of the Takara Company Ltd, a real cult in Japan. During the course of the ten-year collaboration with Takara, Nagana designed seven Barbie models, which have become collectors’ pieces. After the end of the license contract with Mattel, he continued to make clothing and accessories for Jenny, the oriental “cousin” of the American doll.
Iwata (1895-1949). Japanese photographer. Having completed his studies at the School of Fine Art in Tokyo, he left with a scholarship for the United States in 1918 and, in 1921, opened a studio in New York. Five years later he moved to Paris, to a new atelier, where he worked in fashion photography. He became part of the art scene and met Man Ray, whose research profoundly influenced Nakayama’s style, which was first linked to pictorialism, and afterwards to photomontage and off-camera images. In 1927, he returned to Japan and became a point of reference for avant-garde photography in his own country.