YVES SAINT LAURENT

Yves Saint Laurent was a French fashion designer and is regarded as being among the foremost fashion designers in the twentieth century.

Index

  1. The Origin
  2. Saint Laurent On His Own
  3. Collections
  4. Brand Communication
  5. Exhibitions
  6. Saint Laurent Leaves
  7. Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati
  8. Hedi Slimane
  9. Current Situation

The Origin

Yves Saint Laurent Portrait by Jeanloup Sieff 1971
Yves Saint Laurent Portrait. Photographed by Jeanloup Sieff 1971

Yves Saint Laurent (1936) is a French designer born in Oran in Algeria. He entered the fashion world officially in 1957, when, as the 21-year-old assistant to Christian Dior, he was asked to take over when the master died of a heart attack in a hotel in Italy.

The Trapeze collection established the young designer as the child prodigy of French haute couture, despite only just having graduated from the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in Paris. He distinguished himself from his predecessor by the decisiveness of his sartorial cuts and by the soft but quintessential lines, which bore witness to his complete independence from the rest of the French fashion scene and his supreme individuality.

Yves Saint Laurent Adjusting a Trapeze Dress for Dior on Svetlana Lloya 1958
Yves Saint Laurent Adjusting a Trapeze Dress for Dior on Svetlana Lloya 1958

Saint Laurent On His Own

Yves Saint Laurent worked at Maison Dior until 1960 when was called up to do military service in Algeria. It is there that he learned, from his friend and future associate Pierre Bergé, the sad news that Christian Dior had replaced him with a new designer, Marc Bohan.

Bettina Lauer in Yves Saint Laurent Suit. Photographed by Rico Pullman for Stern 1963
Bettina Lauer in Yves Saint Laurent Suit. Photographed by Rico Pullman for Stern 1963

When he returned to Paris, he decided to set up on his own. With the help of Bergé and the financial backing of the American, J. Mack Robinson, he officially opened his studio in the Rue Spontini on 20 January 1962, and presented his first signed collection. His success was immediate. His designs were snapped up by France’s high society and by buyers from the American department stores, who appreciated the value of a line that was not overly elaborate but used well researched fabrics. Meanwhile, the fashion press acclaimed the impeccable cut of his suits, which became the only true rivals to Chanel’s style.

Collections

Yves Saint Laurent Mondrian Inspired Collection
Yves Saint Laurent Mondrian Inspired Collection

The next collections drew inspiration from history, art, and literature. It revealed the designer’s passion for the cultural world and, in particular, for the theater, for which he often designed costumes. In 1966, he introduced a women’s version of black tie for evening wear, a simple black outfit comprising a jacket with satin lapels and a skirt or pants, to be worn as an alternative to the traditional long dress.

The work of Matisse (1981), the paintings of Picasso (1979), Pop Art (1966) and even the writings of Marcel Proust, which prompted the taffeta dresses of Winter 1971-72 and offered him continuous sources of inspiration.

In 1965, minimalism and the geometrical works of Mondrian influenced one of his most successful collections, which is remembered for its rigorous lines, jersey dresses, and vinyl raincoats.

The collection of Winter 1976, dedicated to the Ballets Russes, won international acclaim and was said by the New York Times to be “revolutionary, destined to change the course of fashion.”

Yves Saint Laurent Winter 1976 Ballets Russes Collection
Yves Saint Laurent Winter 1976 Ballets Russes Collection

His exotic origins and the years of training spent in direct contact with the Arab world permeated his style. The strength and unusual combination of colors, the opulence of the fabrics, the richness of the embroidery, the inventiveness of his prints and some ethnically inspired garments. Such as the sahara jacket or djellaba, which were the hallmarks of his style, all the while combined with great formal rigour. Nor should not be forgotten Saint Laurent’s penchant, like that of Chanel before him, for putting tailored cuts and the main features of the male wardrobe into his womenswear collections.

Brand Communication

Yves Saint Laurent Jerry Hall Opium Perfume Campaign 1977
Yves Saint Laurent Jerry Hall Opium Perfume Campaign 1977

In 1964 he created his women’s fragrance Y, the first in a successful series, which included the bestsellers YSL pour homme (1971), Rive Gauche (1971), Eau Libre(1975), Opium (1977) and Kouros (1981). In 1978 he lent his name to a range of beauty products, which added cosmetics to the brand and, in 1992, he chose French actress Catherine Deneuve, a client of his since the 1960s, as a face for his advertising campaign.

In 1966 Saint Laurent and Bergé were among the first to introduce a marketing strategy into the world of haute couture that has now become common, which was to establish the ready-to-wear line (Yves Saint-Laurent Rive Gauche) to be sold in franchised boutiques. From the beginning it was never intended as a substitute for haute couture, but as a field of great creativity, releasing original and sought-after designs into the market.

Production was entrusted to C. Mendès, a company that manufactured other ready-to-wear brands, such as Patou, Grès, and Chanel. The decision to enlist a single supplier to tailor the clothes, working exclusively for the brand, turned out to be a sign of great foresight, a move well ahead of its time. The success of 1970 made Yves Saint-Laurent Rive Gauche the leading exporter of luxury ready-to-wear womenswear.

In December 1982, the business expanded to create a second line, Variation. Sales increased as a result of granting licenses, which functioned in such a way to ensure that the Saint-Laurent colors, design, and image were respected. The main store at Rue Spontini became too small and Saint Laurent moved to 5 Avenue Marceau.

Exhibitions

Museums throughout the world, from the Metropolitan in New York (1983) to the Musée des Arts de la Mode in Paris (1986), to the Sezon Museum of Art in Tokyo (1990), to the Musée de la Mode in Marseilles (1994) have dedicated retrospective exhibitions to the designer, celebrating his creativity and hailing him as one of the greatest ever contributors to the history of fashion. The Group was quoted on the Stock Exchange in Paris in 1989. Today the estate is owned by Franµois Pinault as part of the holding group PPR.

Saint Laurent Leaves

In 1999 Yves Saint Laurent was bought by the Gucci Group. In 2000, the creative director, Tom Ford, rejuvenated the company, brought back its ‘sex appeal’, and implemented the best marketing. But Saint Laurent and Bergé were not convinced, and both had some disagreements with Tom Ford.

Yves Saint Laurent with Models Laetitia Casta, Catherine Deneuve and More All Dressed in Tuxedoes for the Last Fashion Show 2002
Yves Saint Laurent with Models Laetitia Casta, Catherine Deneuve and More All Dressed in Tuxedoes for the Last Fashion Show 2002

Later in January 22, 2002 on the runway at the Centre Pompidou, Saint Laurent made his final exit from the fashion scene with an outstanding retrospective fashion show of 300 designs from the past and present. The atmosphere in the room was feverishly high, especially at the end when Catherine Deneuve sang for her lifelong friend Ma plus belle histoire d’amour c’est vous [You are my greatest love story]. Saint Laurent read out a long and personal farewell letter:

“I believe I have never betrayed the boy who showed his sketches to Christian Dior with the greatest of trepidation… I have lived for this job, have always loved it and respected it to the very end. Fashion is not art, but needs an artist to exist. Clothes are certainly less important than music, architecture, or painting, but they are what I knew how to do and did, perhaps contributing to the transformations that have taken place during my lifetime. Today, we no longer strive only to make women look more beautiful but also to reassure them. Many people exorcise the ghosts of their ego through fashion, whereas I have always wanted to put myself at the service of women, serving their bodies, their movements, their very lives.” About his life, the designer said, “I have known those false friends, drugs and tranquilisers, and the prison of depression and clinics. I belong to what Marcel Proust called ‘the magnificent and pitiful family of neurotics’.”

Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati

Tom Ford For Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2003 Collection
Tom Ford For Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2003 Collection

In June 2002 Stefano Pilati, a probable successor to Tom Ford, took over the complete creative direction of accessories and luggage. Pilato provided a completely new stylistic point of view; the excessive sensuality of his predecessor gave way to a more classic, discreet, and bourgeois elegance.

Later, in December with 850 square meters of floor space, the new Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche store that opened in Milan became the famous French label’s largest in Europe. The space at number 27 Via Montenapoleone (formerly Gucci) replaced the existing shop at number 8 Via Verri, which was in turn replaced by an Alexander McQueen boutique.

In December 2002 Saint Laurent and his right-hand man Pierre Bergé gained public interest and recognition for their Foundation which occupies the building in Avenue Marceau. From this point on, the designer focused on the activities of the Foundation, which houses 5,000 dresses and 15 objects from the private collections of Saint Laurent and Bergé. The Foundation awards study bursaries and organizes fashion and contemporary art exhibitions. 

Ford decides to leave the company in 2004 and Stefano Pilati, who has worked with Ford for YSL since 2000, becomes his successor, becoming the new creative director. At first Pilati receives negative reviews, but then, thanks his interpretation of masculinity and femininity, he got the support of the fashion system.

Hedi Slimane

Yves Saint Laurent Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013 Collection
Heidi Slimane for Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2013 Collection

In 2012 Hedi Slimane becomes the new creative director, leading the newly-named, Saint Laurent, label to a huge success. Slimane was also in charge for the exhibition, “Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective”, at the Museum of Art Denver (March 25-July 8, 2012). The exhibition was memorable, including all historical products, leading Bergé to declare “Yves Saint Laurent would be very proud to be here.”.

Current Situation

Hedi Slimane contributed remarkably to the Fashion House and surprised everyone when he decided to leave in March 2016. In April 2016 Yves Saint Laurent choose Anthony Vacarello as their new creative director, known for his talent and creative mind.

In Marrakech, the 4,000-square-metre building was designed by Studio KO, and is located near the famous Jardin Majorelle. The building holds exhibition spaces, an auditorium, a boutique, and an open-terrace café. Also, a research library that holds more than 5,000 books related to fashion, literature, poetry, history, botanics and Berber culture.

Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech
Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech

In September and October 2016 the Yves Saint Laurent museums in Paris and Marrakech opened. The museums are a tribute to the loved designer, Saint Laurent, who died in 2008, always in the spotlight and his well known companion Pierre Bergé. Sadly, Pierre Bergé, the brand’s former chief executive and key collaborator, died on September 8th at age 86 and was not able to see the final product.

In comparison, the very different in style newly unveiled Parisian museum is located in the hôtel particulier  at 5 Avenue Marceau where Yves Saint Laurent spent nearly 30 years designing his collections from 1974 to 2002. A rotation of retrospective displays and temporary thematic exhibitions will be on display.

 

CÉLINE

Celine, began in 1945 as a made-to-measure children’s shoe business and evolved into a French house of luxury leather goods and prêt-à-porter.

Index

  1. The Origin: Céline Vipiana
  2. Acquired By LVMH
  3. Michael Kors
  4. The Poulbot Bag
  5. A Hard Time
  6. Phoebe Philo
  7. Current Situation

The Origin: Céline Vipiana

Céline has a long and deep-rooted history in the world of fashion. The first boutique was opened by Céline Vipiana and her husband, Richard at 52 rue Malte in Paris. Together they created one of the first luxury brands in the industry, Céline, a made-to-measure children’s shoe business. Then, year after year, the maison’s success allowed it to expand. Céline Vipiana remained the designer from 1945-1997.

Céline Vipiana
Céline Vipiana Portrait in Office

In 1960, the brand changed positioning and began focusing on a women’s ready-to-wear fashion brand with a sportswear approach. In 1963 it presented a women’s shoe line, and 1966 saw the début of a leather collection. In 1973, Céline redesigned its logo with the intertwined “C” Sulky canvas, linked to the Parisian symbol, Arc-de-Triomphe.

Acquired by LVMH

In 1996 the brand was officially acquired by LVMH, Bernard Arnault, which owned several luxury and fashion brands, for $540 million. At this time, LVMH made the brand popular and opened a boutique on 36 avenue Montaigne in Paris.

The firm, guided by Nan Lergeai, the person at Dior responsible for the Far East, began a policy of opening single-brand boutiques all over the world, with particular attention to the Asian and American markets.

Michael Kors

In 1997 American fashion designer Michael Kors was named the first ever women’s ready-to-wear designer and creative director for Céline. After he was hired, the brand quickly evolved, and in May 2001 the company opened their first single-brand boutique in London, at the prime address New Bond Street. Then, in August the Isetan Museum in Tokyo dedicates a retrospective to Céline illustrating the maison’s style from 1945 to the present day, highlighting the changes made in 1997 with the arrival of artistic director Michael Kors.

Celine Micheal Kors Spring/Summer 2001
Micheal Kors Spring/Summer 2001 Collection

The celebrated Grant bag, very successful in the 1960s, is the main feature, and it is sewn right in front of visitors in a miniature cardboard version. The pieces on sale are limited and numbered, personalized with the buyer’s name.

In September 2001 with the advent of the single European currency, Céline creates a dedication to the euro with a collection of accessories decorated with the twelve coins which are to be issued. After London and Antwerp, Club Céline arrives in Italy, in the new boutique opened in Galleria Cavour in Bologna. The firm expects to open 100 more points-of-sale by the end of the year.

The Poulbot Bag

Celine Poulbot Bag Grey
Poulbot Bag Grey

In May 2003 the new Céline bag is called Poulbot. This name is almost unknown, and derives from Francisque Poulbot, an contemporary artist with Toulouse-Lautrec, by whom he was inspired when painting the street urchins of Paris. Since that time, poulbot has meant urchin, and the bag is called an “urchin” or “rascal” bag. It hangs like a shoulder bag, bombé and round with seams held together by metallic rivets, made in leather of bright colors such as orange, fuchsia, and electric blue.

Also, Céline offers a mini-Collection inspired by the streets of Paris. The name chosen for the collection, Macadam, is the name of the paving material put down in 1854, an important element in the stylistic identity of the city. The Collection is to last a single season. By this time, Céline has seen a lot of growth and now has 63 boutiques all over the world.

A Hard Time

October 2004 Roberto Menichetti makes his début in Paris as the creative director of Céline. He replaces the American Michael Kors as the artistic head of the historic French maison. By May 2005, after only two seasons, the collaboration between the Italian designer and the French maison comes to an end. The separation is consensual.

Céline Opens First Store in Florence
Céline Opens First Store in Florence

Later in June, after the opening of the boutique on via Condotti in Rome in 2004, another prestigious store is opened on the very central via Tornabuoni in Florence. It is a nice way to celebrate the griffe‘s 66th anniversary. In the previous four years, the griffe shows a growth in turnover of 50%.

A year later, the Croatian designer, Ivana Omazic, was appointed director of the design studio. He was a former consultant for the brand and previously worked with Prada, Jil Sander and Miu Miu. Omazic designed for Céline until 2008, after further disappointments for the brand.

Phoebe Philo

On September 4, 2008 the LVMH Group names Phoebe Philo as the new creative director and board member of the brand. The designer incorporates her own twist to the brand by drawing attention to the tailoring and materials. Vogue defined the new aesthetic look she brought to the brand as the “cool minimal trend”.

Celine Phoebe Philo SS15
Phoebe Philo SS15 Collection

In 2014, the brand is at its peak, when the House opens new flagship stores in Mount Street (London), Avenue Montaigne (Paris), Omotesando (Tokyo), SoHo (New York) and Plaza 66 (Shanghai). At end of 2014, Céline completely renovated its new headquarters at 16 Rue Vivienne, a historical building which was built in 1653. The building is on the national heritage list, originally owned by King Louis XIII and positioned in the heart of Paris.

In 2015, in order to be faithful to the minimalist spirit of Céline, the brand chose one of the legendary American author Joan Didion to be the face of SS15 campaign.

Current Situation

Celine SS17 Collection
SS17 Collection

The year 2017 has undergone many changes for Céline,  in the beginning of this year, Séverine Merle joined Céline as new CEO. Later in February, the brand finally launched an official Instagram account to strengthen its social media presence.

The official Céline website is one of few fashion website without e-commerce capabilities, but there is no doubt that online sales have become the fashion industry’s most important and promising engine of growth, therefore, on 27th of February, Céline announced plans to launch e-commerce.

In August, Céline entered Indian market for the first time by signing an exclusive partnership with Le Mill, a concept store in Mumbai. Also, after holding the position of creative director in the house for 8 years, Phoebe Philo is preparing to depart from Céline by the end of 2017.

CHRISTIAN DIOR

French luxury goods company started by Christian Dior in 1946. Responsible for the New Look and bringing back Femininity.

Index

  1. The Origin: Christian Dior
  2. Designer at Piguet and Lucien Lelong
  3. The Beginning: Dior Maison
    1. The New Look
    2. Avenue Montaigne
  4. Dior is Dior: A Splendid Atelier
  5. New Designer: Yves Saint Laurent
  6. New Leadership: Bernard Arnault
  7. Financial Information
  8. 100 Year Celebration of Christian Dior’s Birthday
  9. Brand Development 
  10. Creative Director
    1. John Galliano Fired
    2. RAF Simons 
    3. Maria Grazia Chiuri
  11. Current Situation 

The Origin: Christian Dior

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior Portrait
Christian Dior Portrait

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior Designer for Robert Piuget
Cafe Anglaise Collection Dior. Last and most successful collection for Piuget

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior Sketch for Lucien Lelong 1944-45
Christian Dior Sketch for Lucien Lelong 1944-45

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.”

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior New Look 1946
New Look 1946

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.

Mame- Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior New Look 1946
New Look 1946

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior Evening Dress 1950s
Evening Dress 1950s

Avenue Montaigne

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior Avenue Montaigne
Christian Dior Avenue Montaigne

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior New Look 1949
New Look 1949

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior And Models 1950
25th April 1950: Christian Dior, designer of the ‘New Look’ and the ‘A-line’, with six of his models after a fashion parade at the Savoy Hotel, London.

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior Yves Saint Laurent 1958 Collection
Yves Saint Laurent 1958 Collection for Dior

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Bernard Arnault
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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Gianfranco Ferre for Dior 1996
Gianfranco Ferre for Dior 1996

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.

Financial Information

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Boutique Rome
Dior Boutique in Rome

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior John Galliano Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture 2009
John Galliano Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture 2009

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Christian Dior 100 Years Show
Celebrating Christian Dior 100th Birthday Show

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.

Brand Development

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Marion Cotillard Lady Dior Campaign 2009
Marion Cotillard Lady Dior Campaign 2009

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.

Creative Director

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.

RAF Simons

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Raf Simons and his First Collection for Dior
Raf Simons First Collection for 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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Raf Simons for Christian Dior
Raf Simons for Christian Dior Fall 2012

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 Dior Couture 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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Secret Garden Campaign Rihanna
Secret Garden Campaign Rihanna

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Maria Grazia Chiuri First Haute Couture Dior Collection
Maria Grazia Chiuri First Haute Couture Dior Collection

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Dior 70th Anniversary Australia
70th Anniversary Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia

Current Situation

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Feminist Slogan T-Shirts
Feminist Slogan T-Shirts

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibition in Paris
Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibition in Paris

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Dior Natalie Portman for Miss Dior Fragrance
Natalie Portman for 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.

LACOSTE

The origin begins with René Lacoste (1904-1996) during his tennis career he wore a small crocodile embroidered on the pocket of his jacket and he was called “the Crocodile.”

Index

  1. The Origin: Rene Lacoste
  2. The Lacoste Polo is Born
  3. Sporting Fashion
    1. Preppy Wardrobe
  4. Creative Director: Christophe Lemaire
  5. 75th Anniversary
  6. Creative Director: Felip Oliveria Baptista
  7. Acquired By Maus Freres
  8. 80th Anniversary Logo
  9. Current Situation

The Origin: Rene Lacoste

Founder Rene Lacoste
Founder Rene Lacoste

The origin begins with René Lacoste (1904-1996) during his tennis career he wore a small crocodile embroidered on the pocket of his jacket and he was called “the Crocodile.” Maybe due to his fierceness or perhaps because a certain bet with his team captain where the prize happened to be a suitcase made in alligator skin. In any case, Lacoste embraced the name to the point of getting the crocodile embroidered on his blazer and as simple as that, the tennis myth came along with a clothing legend.

The Lacoste Polo is Born

Officially in 1926 Lacoste, a practical man, adopted the short-sleeved shirt for both on and off the tennis court. Since then, his style has inspired the so-called functional elegance. In 1933 René Lacoste retired from tennis, founded La Société Chemise Lacoste with André Gillier, then designed and decided began to produce a button-neck short-sleeve sweater in white piqué cotton, with a small green crocodile embroidered on the left side of the chest. The garment was immediately successful as sports clothing, especially in tennis and golf, thanks to having a longer back than front, so as to remain well tucked inside the pants even after large or brisk movements.

Lacoste White Polo Logo
White Polo with Logo

In 1941 he was appointed as President of the Fédération Française de Tennis, meanwhile he infused colorful life to his clothing line with a range of tones on the polo shirts, in addition sneakers and the first children collection were conceived.

In 1963, Bernard Lacoste took over the management of the company from his father René. Significant company growth was seen under Bernard’s management. Also, at this time Lacoste jerseys were manufactured in 4 colors, in 1967 in 21, and were equally suited to men, women and children. By the end of 1963 around 300,000 products were sold annually.

Sporting Fashion

Success and diffusion arrived during the 1960s when sporting fashion became more popular. The brand reached its height of popularity in the US during the late 1970s and became the signature 1980s “preppy” wardrobe item, even getting mentioned in Lisa Birnbach‘s Official Preppy Handbook of 1980.

Lacoste 1976 Campaign
1976 Campaign

Creativity and innovations have been always center points at Lacoste, therefore in 1970 Ruben Torres was appointed as fashion designer. He had many outstanding achievements during this period, including the creation of the memorable advertising campaign “Crocodiles”, the first boutique on Avenue Victor Hugo, Paris and the fragrances collection embodying the joie de vivre feeling characteristic of the brand.

In 1986 Guy Paulin is appointed Fashion Designer. The world was changing quickly and in 1996 the first Lacoste website was launched under the direction of Gilles Rosies as Fashion designer, appointed in 1994. At this time, the company also began to introduce other products into their line including shorts, perfume, optical and sunglasses, tennis shoes, deck shoes, walking shoes, watches, and various leather goods.

Preppy Wardrobe

Lacoste: The Crocodiles Campaign
The Crocodiles Campaign

Lacoste is known for their crocodile logo plus several other key DNA elemnts. This includes stripes, color blocking, piping, rib knit sweaters, punch (tennis racket handle material),monochrome, and net pattern. The style has always been for people with a preppy wardrobe who play a lot of tennis or golf. 

Creative Director: Christophe Lemaire

In 2000 the new creative director was Christophe Lemaire, a “student” of Christian Lacroix. He had the task of introducing the brand towards modernity, though remaining linked to its sport roots. He took over from Gilles Rosier, who had widened the crocodile’s horizon of sportswear. But it was until the arrival of Christophe Lemaire, that Lacoste’s first fashion show was presented in New York City, 2003.

Lacoste Christophe Lemaire
Christophe Lemaire

Also, an agreement was signed with Samsonite for the manufacture and distribution of leather goods. The diversification is transverse compared to the other three areas of business: activewear, which represents 20%, sportswear with 60% and Club clothing. By 2001 consolidated turnover was €850 million, +8% compared to 2000: 75% was represented by clothing.

In May of 2002 Lacoste eyewear aimed at the Brazilian market. The Group L’Amy, which produces and distributes the crocodile’s glasses, signed a distribution and production license agreement with Technol Group, a South-American eyewear producer. Also, this year 600,000 pieces of leather goods were sold, generating a turnover of €10 million.

In January of 2003 the company opened a store on Fifth Avenue, New York. By the end of 2003 the brand is distributed in 120 countries and has 718 own-brand boutiques, 433 in Europe, 156 in Asia and 129 in America, most of them franchised. 65% of Lacoste is in the hands of the Lacoste family, now in the second generation; the remaining 35% is owned by the French company Devanlay, which also produces and distributes clothing. In the last ten years, the annual growth rate has been constant around 8-12%, transforming a single-manufactured brand, the shirt, into a lifestyle. The shirt, however, is the best selling item and is still produced as it was originally, using 38.63 miles of Egyptian or Peruvian cotton and mother-of-pearl buttons. The Italian market ranks third for importance, with about €70 million of turnover.

Lacoste Sneaker 1963
Sneaker 1963

Lacoste relaunches its “1963 tennis shoe” with contemporary colours and patterns. The shoes style is named “RENÉ” in tribute to their inventor. Then, in 2006 the René Lacoste foundation is created. Its mission is to support and fund projects for children to transmit key values through sport.

75th Anniversary

Lacoste 75th Anniversary The Future of Tennis
75th Anniversary: The Future of Tennis

In 2008 Lacoste celebrates its 75th anniversary. To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Lacoste looked back on its tennis history by fast-forwarding 75 years to the year 2083 and how tennis will be played in the future. Through a 3D TV, A space age tennis player showed off his new moves on a new court. Meanwhile,  Lacoste released another video to explored champion tennis player, Andy Roddick’s vision of tennis past present and future. Other videos explored the connection Lacoste brought to the game of tennis of the past and tennis of the future through its present as a sportswear powerhouse.

Creative Director: Felipe Oliveira Baptista

In 2010 Portugese designer, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, becomes the new fashion designer of Lacoste. He offers an essential reinterpretation of the brand values.

Also that year, Lacoste creates the Lacoste lab in collaboration with fashion designer Christophe Pillet to promote innovation.

Then, in 2011 Lacoste opens new flagship stores, designed by Christophe Pillet, in Paris and Hamburg. Also at this time, 53 million Lacoste products have been sold through 1,165 stores and over 2000 departments stores across 114 countries. The brand claims, two crocodiles were sold every second.

Acquired By Maus Freres

In November 2012 Lacoste was bought outright by Swiss family-held group Maus Frères. Also, for the first time, Lacoste opens a boutique in Paris entirely focused on women. Next to that, they open their first store in Shibuya, Tokyo, followed by Miami and a new flagship store in Knightsbridge, London. The brand re-strategized their social media and now the facebook page attracts 10 million followers.

80th Anniversary Logo  

Lacoste 80th Anniversary Logo
80th Anniversary Logo

In 2013 for Lacoste’s 80th birthday, they released an anniversary logo along with an exclusive collection of high-end wares. The items in collaboration with Maison Francaises range from leather goods, to jewelers and bakeries, producing everything from crocodile duffels to eclairs. The whole set goes on display at Colette in Paris starting June 10th.

In 2014 Lacoste is named the official partner for the Olympic and Paralympic French teams.

In 2016 Lacoste opens a new flagship store in the World Trade Center, New York, followed by one in Paris.

Current Situation

In February 2017 in honour of the brand’s 85th birthday, Lacoste announces that they will swap New York Fashion week for Paris fashion week for the SS18 collection. Also, tennis player Novak Djokovic was named brand ambassador for Lacoste. This obligation includes a five-year contract and he will appear in advertising campaigns.

Lacoste 2017 Campaign
2017 Campaign

Today the brand is continually evolving, is always fresh and dynamic as his founder. Now in an environment where the “casual Friday” occurs almost everyday, this is transformed for good into “casual elegance” and thrilling collaborations like the latest between Lacoste and Supreme are happening as a response to the changing times.

LOUIS VUITTON

Louis Vuitton is a French luxury goods brand that began by making trunks and luggage in 1854. Mostly known for their iconic LV monogram print, created in 1896, that appears on all their products.

Index

  1. The Origins
  2. First Boutique in Paris
  3. Son Georges and Grandson Gatson
  4. The Monogram Canvas is Born
  5. Personalized Luggage
  6. Louis Vuitton Merges with Moet-Hennessey
  7. First Artistic Director: Marc Jacobs
  8. Brand Expansion 
  9. New Collections and Campaigns
  10. The Style
  11. Recent Years 
  12. Current Situation

The Origins

In 1835, at the age of fourteen, Louis Vuitton left Anchay, his native village in the Jura Mountains of eastern France, close to the Swiss border. He undertook this long journey by foot, ending up in Paris two years later. Upon his arrival, he was hired as a box maker/packer by Romain Maréchal. This work was based on manufacturing boxes and crates used to pack everyday objects and large wardrobes.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Portrait
Louis Vuitton Portrait

First Boutique in Paris

In 1854 he opened his first leather goods store on rue Neuve-des-Capucines, Paris. He offered very light trunks in poplar wood and baggage more suitable for the new means of transport. Then, he began to attract the admiration of fashionable people. His designs were ergonomic, made for strength, and lightness. His perfection of the flat trunk is now considered the beginning of modern luggage.

Beginning in 1859, the Asnières site, both a family residence and atelier of the company, is born. Still today, Asnières is a symbol of the Vuitton family’s personal and commercial success.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Historical Atelier Asnieres
Louis Vuitton Historical Atelier Asnieres

His skill is noted by Empress Eugenia of Montijo, who calls him to make his luggage. This experience helped him to understand that the old luggage used during the time of horse and bugee, with a curved form cover, had become useless obsolete. So, they decided on a modern type of luggage, which could be used in the trains, the new way of transport

Son Georges & Grandson Gaston

Louis Vuitton continuously innovates fabrics and patterns to protect the products from counterfeiting. In 1875, the creation of the first vertical wardrobe trunk, with each part being thoughtfully designed, guaranteed the success of a company already specializing in travel.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton the Tumbler Lock
The Tumbler Lock

In 1886, Georges Vuitton, created the tumbler lock, an ingenious closing system. A major invention that allowed the same customer to open each piece of luggage with a single key. Later, in 1888, the Damier Canvas pattern is introduced and trademarked. Tragically, in 1892, Louis Vuitton sadly passes away and his son Georges officially takes over the company, along with his grandson Gaston-Louis.

The Monogram Canvas is Born

In 1896, the birth of the famous Monogram canvas. Louis Vuitton’s son, Georges, created the “Monogram”, a small piece of cloth printed with the initials LV that guaranteed the originality of the product. Also, he patented waxed cloth bags, like the “steamer bag.” Louis Vuitton’s grandson, Gatson, began to collect travel items and old luggage dating back to the 16th century. These pieces are now part of the collections at Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Monogram Print Luggage
Monogram Print Luggage

Personalized Luggage

Members of the aristocracy and royalty never traveled without their own special Louis Vuitton trunks and cases, for example, the Prince of Egypt Youssouf Kemal, and the Sultan Ismaïl Pacha.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Wardrobe Trunk
Wardrobe Trunk

For Luigi Barzini and Scipione Borghese who, in 1907, organized the Beijing-Paris car race, the maison designed rainproof cases. The trunk of the explorer Savorgnan de Brazza could even contain a camp bed, and the one made for the opera singer Lily Pons could hold 36 pairs of shoes. The trunk designed for the orchestra conductor Léopold Stokowski contained a little desk with a small table and shelves for books and music.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Trunk Leopold Stokowski
Louis Vuitton Trunk Leopold Stokowski

In 1914 Georges Vuitton unveiled a shop along the Champs Élysées in an Art Nouveau palace that became the symbolic store of the maison. Through this time the brand grew into pure luxury and in 1983 Louis Vuitton became partner of the America’s Cup: the first edition of the Louis Vuitton Cup was born.

Louis Vuitton Merges with Moët-Hennessy

Since 1959, the company’s production has expanded to include a line of bags, small leather goods, and accessories. In 1987 the company Louis Vuitton merged with Moët-Hennessy to become the colossal multinational company LVMH. Its first important acquirement came the following year: The Maison Givenchy. Bernard Arnault, in 1989, became president and starting in 1993, LVMH started acquiring diverse fashion houses Christian Lacroix, Emilio Pucci, Kenzo, Fendi, Michael KorsDonna Karan, Bulgari and Loro Piana.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: 100 Year Anniversary Bag, Romeo Gigli
100 Year Anniversary Bag, Romeo Gigli

In 1996 the brand celebrates the 100-year anniversary. So the brand engaged the most celebrated and esteemed fashion designers; Azzedine Alaïa, Manolo Blahnik, Helmut Lang, Isaac Mizrahi, Romeo Gigli, Vivienne Westwood, and Sybilla to create a limited edition of various iconic pieces from the house of fashion.

First Artistic Director: Marc Jacobs

In 1997 the artistic director of the brand became Marc Jacobs, who launched in his first year the first prêt-à-porter apparel line. In the same year, the company launched a “City Guide” line of luxury travel guides in the major cities of the world; Berlin, Athens, London, Moscow, Rome and Paris.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Creative Director Marc Jacobs
Creative Director Marc Jacobs

The following year, the men’s line was introduced. Marc Jacobs work consisted in revitalizing the brand, instilling an aspect of fashion that was new. Fundamental steps in this direction were the collaborations with artists like Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami that reworked the classic LV logo redecorating it with glaring modifications. Thanks as well to the advertising campaigns that used celebrities like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, the brand was able to become an inspiration in the eyes of a public ranging from 20 to 70 years old.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton City GuidesLouis Vuitton City Guides

Brand Expansion

Megastores were opened in London, New York and in 2000 a flagship store in Hong Kong. In 2002 Louis Vuttion registered a turnover of €4,194 million and operating results of €1,297 millions. All markets grew: Europe (+8%), USA (+12%), Japan (+15%). At the end of the year there were 299 own-brand shops. Of these, 7 were new: 1 each in Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, Moscow, Amsterdam, Macao, and Germany, the restyled and reorganized stores numbered about 30.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Singapore Marina Bay Store
Louis Vuitton Singapore Marina Bay Store

In December 2002 Yves Carcelle became the president of Louis Vuitton. By 2003, the company sold goods in 50 countries exclusively through more than 300 boutiques of its own property. By April, Louis Vuitton opened its first shop in New Delhi, India. Later, in September 2004, the Shanghai store, the largest store in the Asia-Pacific area, was restyled. Louis Vuitton had 13 shops in China. At this point, Louis Vuitton was arriving in South Africa and India. Serge Brunschwig, head of South-East Asia sector says,

“The future markets are India and South Africa. We are preparing big marketing operations and the opening of stores. In this way we create an emotional impact and start to introduce the Louis Vuitton universe into the luxury niches of new consumer markets.”

Overall, the brand has 335 own-brand, own- property stores all over the world. “To mark the company’s 150 years, we have accelerated the expansion project with 21 new openings, from the New York Building on the Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, to Osaka and Shanghai.”

New Collections & Campaigns

In the 2005 campaign, the actress Uma Thurman became Louis Vuitton’s new testimonial. Later, in July, the diversification process of the French brand continued. After a line of jewelry was launched, Louis Vuitton eyewear (sunglasses) made their appearance. Zeiss is the chosen partner to produce high protection lenses.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Uma Thurman Campaign
Uma Thurman Campaign

Louis Vuitton launched new icon purses including one in Nomad Leather, a Monogram Mini Lin line, Damier Azur line, along with the new edition of the icon locks in 2006. The company published a book ‘Louis Vuitton, Icons’ by Edition Assouline. Also, new openings occurred with the Louis Vuitton House in Manhattan and Taiwan.

In 2007 The exhibition, Takashi Murakam, occurred along with a temporary opening of the Louis Vuitton boutique in a museum. This year also marked an iconic collaboration of Marc Jacobs and Richard Prince. The ‘Ultimate Travel Bag’ was created, and the Core Values Advertisement Campaign with Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Catherine Deneuve, and Mikhail Gorbachev debuted. This year also saw the opening of the first store in Cyprus, Greece.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton in Collaboration with Richard Prince
Collaboration with Richard Prince

In 2008 The Damier collection launched a new Graphite Damier line. Also, the company celebrates the 10th anniversary of the City Guides collection. Sofia Coppola is honored with a collection under her name that is launched in Tokyo. Stephen Sprouse in New York is celebrated with a tribute in his honor. In Auckland, New Zealand, the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series takes place. Another inauguration for the Takashi Murakami exhibition of Guggenheim Bilbao is admired.

The Style

Faithful to its heritage, Louis Vuitton has opened its doors to architects, artists and designers across the years. Also while developing disciplines such as ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, watches, jewelry and stationery. These carefully created products are testament to the company’s commitment to fine craftsmanship.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton’ Craftsmanship
Louis Vuitton’ Craftsmanship

The success of the Louis Vuitton label is based on grand French style, which recognizes the beauty of an object in its function and mobility. Louis Vuitton has brought unique designs to the world, combining innovation with style, always aiming for the finest quality.

The commercial policy is based on exclusivity, especially to combat against the rising attempts at falsification. For this reason, the fashion house’s products can only be acquired in their single brand stores or online at their official website www.louisvuitton.com. The brand’s attention isn’t limited just to the fashion system: interested in new trends, Louis Vuitton run a cultural space at 101 Champs Élysées where young artists were left to propose and promote their art. Nowadays, this space is not open anymore.

Recent Years

In 2010 Louis Vuitton published the book 100 Malles de Légende, a work that traces the story of the maison through a photographic support of more than 800 shots.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton 100 Malles De Légende
100 Malles De Légende

In February 2011, the first app of Louis Vuitton was launched, following the collaboration of the brand with Apple. “Look at the world through the eyes of Louis Vuitton”, the brand’s motto that they presented to refined travelers from every corner of the world. Vuitton’s success was unstoppable. Also, their campaign, “City Guide,” the line of luxury travel guides, updated a 2011 edition with new and unexpected cities like Porto Cervo, Beirut, Courchevel, Gstaad, Oxford, Palma de Mallorca and Thessaloniki.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Nicolas Ghesquiere
Nicolas Ghesquiere

2014 is another turning point, when Marc Jacobs, the creative director of the maison, is replaced by Nicolas Ghesquière, the French fashion designer discovered in 1997 by Balenciaga.

Current Situation

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Spring / Summer 2017 Runway
Spring / Summer 2017 Runway

Louis Vuitton, in 2016 has an estimated $ 20 billion value, and is at number 19 of Forbes’ list of the 100 most prestigious brands in the world.

Today, the Maison remains faithful to the spirit of its founder, Louis Vuitton, who invented a genuine “Art of Travel” through luggage, bags and accessories which were as creative as they were elegant and practical. Since then, audacity has shaped the story of Louis Vuitton.

Currently, Nicolas Ghesquière remains the Creative Director of Women’s Collections.

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

Christian Louboutin, French shoe designer, was born in Paris 1964. His iconic element is the high-end stiletto, with the red sole.

Christian Louboutin, designer of the world’s most iconic red sole stiletto.

Index

  1. Young Rebel
  2. The Launch
  3. Louboutin Red
  4. Brand Expansion
  5. Current Situation

Young Rebel

Christian Louboutin, French shoe designer, was born in Paris 1964. His iconic element is the high-end stiletto, with the red sole. At the age of 12 his true fascination with shoes began when he visited the Musée National des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, where he saw a sign forbidding women wearing sharp stilettos from entering a building, for fear of damage to the wood flooring. This image inspired his work.

Christian expresses, “I wanted to create something that broke rules and made women feel confident and empowered.”

He studied drawing and decorative arts at the Académie d’Art Roederer. In his teens he left for Egypt, and spent a year in India. After this he came back to Paris in 1981. He created a portfolio full of his extravagant high heel drawings and sent it to the top fashion houses. This was a success, and he was hired by Charles Jourdan, one of the most respected shoemakers in Paris. Through his work with Jourdan, he met Roger Vivier, who claimed to have invented the stiletto, and they started a long and meaningful collaboration. Also, he freelanced for Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.

Christian Louboutin Portrait
Christian Louboutin Portrait

The Launch

In the late 80’s he left fashion, became a landscape gardener, and contributed to Vogue Paris. This only lasted a few years before he started to miss working with shoes, and decided to launch his company in 1991. His first collection was presented in 1991, then in 1992 he opened a boutique on Rue Rousseau in Paris. Princess Caroline of Monaco was his first customer. She complemented the store when a journalist was present and he published her comments, which helped Louboutin gain recognition. After this, clients such as Diane Von FurstenbergMadonna, Nicole Kidman, Cher, and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy soon followed.

Louboutin Red

The Louboutin signature is the red sole, first created in 1993. He claimed he was trying to liven up the design of his shoes, when he “spontaneously grabbed his assistants red nail polish and started painting the sole red.” He exclaimed, “I instantly knew that it would be a success.” Through the 90’s and 2000’s Louboutin brought back the popularity of the stiletto, and in 1998 he received the Fashion Footwear Association of New York Award for the best shoe designer of the year.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Louboutin. Iconic Red Sole Stiletto.
Iconic Red Sole Stiletto.

Brand Expansion

In 2003 he extended outside of shoes and launched his first collection of handbags. Then, in 2011 he launched his first men’s line.

Since the brand’s launch, Christian Louboutin’s creations have been immortalized in museums, on fashion week runways, red carpets, and in pop culture around the world. A woman’s natural beauty has always been at the center of the designer’s inspiration. 2014 welcomed the launch of Christian Louboutin Beauté with its first nail polish, Rouge Louboutin, accompanied by a full range of Noirs, Nudes and Pop colors. The brand’s highly anticipated ‘second chapter’ of beauty, lipstick, launched in September 2015, followed by three signature Christian Louboutin fragrances in September 2016 and a striking collection of eye amplifiers, Les Yeux Noirs, in March 2017.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Louboutin. The Beauty Collection: Lipstick, Nail Polish, and Perfume.
The Beauty Collection: Lipstick, Nail Polish, and Perfume.

Current Situation

With a prolific collection of women’s and men’s shoes, day and evening handbags, and small leather goods Christian Louboutin now counts more than one hundred boutiques around the world. Also, there are several locations dedicated to men’s and a one-of-a-kind beauty boutique located in the heart of Paris’ 1st arrondisment, just two doors away from 19 Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Christian Louboutin Paris Store
Christian Louboutin Paris Store

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