Austin

Henri Wilfred (1906). A famous tennis player, known as “Bunny.” He was the first to wear shorts on the Central Court at Wimbledon, in 1932. They were made of white flannel, of course. His sister, Joan Winifred, scandalized Wimbledon by not wearing socks.

Americana

A style very fashionable in America during the 1950s, also called “negative shoulder” because it has no sleeves. Its sleeve holes are cut on a bias that is so pronounced that they leave the shoulders completely bare. It can have a crewneck, a high neck or a deep V-neck. It is used on dresses, blouses, and light sweaters for day or evening.

Alcantara

Spanish city on the Tagus river near the Portuguese border. Also a brand of synthetic fabric manufactured in the early 1970s as the result of a collaboration between the Italian firm Anic and the Japanese firm Toray. Very fine and expensive, it has the consistency of velvet or suede, and is treated like leather. Very resistant, it doesn’t crease, can be printed and embroidered and is available in an endless range of colors. Water-resistant, it is ideal for fur-lined cloaks.

Alphonsine

French hat firm founded by the designer of the same name towards the end of the 1800s. She became the top milliner during the Belle Époque, when the hat was transformed into a triumph of feathers, egrets, and bulk. She arrived in Paris at the age of 15 and became an apprentice to Madame André. It was a good way to learn the business. She was then offered the position of manager at a smaller fashion house. She worked there for 20 years, taking every opportunity to improve herself, with travel, visits to museums, and the careful study of costume in paintings. She was such an extraordinary self-taught woman that, at the beginning of the 1900s, when fashion began to look to the remote past for its inspiration, she, better than her contemporaries, had the ability to interpret and understand that trend. In 1888 she opened her own atelier and then in 1904 moved it to rue de la Paix, at the time the height of elegance.

Arnault

Bernard (1949). French entrepreneur. He leads the LVMH Group, an empire of luxury goods which includes Dior, Lacroix, Vuitton, Moét Hennessy, Kenzo, Guerlain and the Bon Marché department stores. He seemed to be destined for a career as a builder when, as a graduate of the École Polytechnique, he began to manage his father’s construction company. The turning point came in the early 1980s. Prompted to do so by the government, he purchased the textile group Boussac Saint-Frères, then in bankruptcy. The group included Dior and Bon Marché, thanks to investments that it had made. This was the beginning. In 1997, the group had a turnover of more than FFr 14,000 billion, with a net profit of FFr 1,336 billion. In Winter 1999, he became the main stockholder of Gucci. But his control was blocked by an alliance between management and the French financier Franµois Pinault. At the end of that year, on October 12, he acquired, together with Prada, 51% of Fendi.

Alcione

Tie manufacturer. The company was established in 1945 and has been managed since 1970 by the sole managing director, Luciano Poppa. This family business is very well known for the high quality of its craftsmanship and conducts a substantial export business.

Ashida

Jun (1930). Japanese designer of Korean origin. He has more than 200 points-of-sale between Japan and Paris. He became known also in Italy and in 1989 he was named a Cavaliere della Repubblica. He made his début in 1951 under the wing of Junichi Nakahara. He began to present in Paris in 1977. He diversified his Collections with three brands: Jun Ashida, Miss Ashida, and Jun Ashida for Men. His daughter Tae works in the company.
Nostalgia, a Farewell to the 20th Century was the title of his Autumn-Winter Collection, a special tribute by the Japanese designer to the century just ended. The wardrobe, presented at the Akasaka Prince Hotel in Tokyo, was a Collection of designs from previous decades, with luxury fabrics and stylistic echoes. The Collection of the designer’s daughter Tae was titled Transitino.
A foulard-shawl created for the 2002-2003 season had great success.
The 73 year-old Japanese designer counts among his admirers members of the Japanese imperial family. Princess Misaka wears Ashida’s designs and always attends his presentations.

Alès

Patrick (1935). French hairdresser, a “doctor” for hair. He didn’t feel a calling for this line of work, but found it by chance, needing a way to pay for his studies. He found one at age 17 as an assistant to the hairdresser Louis Gervais. Cutting hair and setting it caaught his interest and by age 21 he was already first hairdresser at Carita. In 1967 he went out on his own and opened his first salon in Paris. His studies inspired him to test on the hair certain therapies against plant diseases and ageing. In 1970 the first Phytosolba laboratories were founded and, with the imprimatur of the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, began to produce and distribute treatment products. The Alès Group has important interests in the cosmetics industry and operating offices in Europe and the U.S.
The group acquired Jean-Louis Renaud Inc., which renamed Alès Group Canada.
The line Une Femme de Caron was launched.
The Alès Group consists of seven firms producing cosmetics, hair products and perfumes.

Arkadius

Brand created by the Polish designer Arkadius Weremczuk (1969), now living in London. He left his native country and the study of teaching in 1992 in order to become a designer. After a picaresque journey through Tuscany, where he worked as a dish washer, and to Munich, where he worked as a commercial artist, he finally arrived in London where he attended the Central St. Martins College of Art and Design. He proved to have a singular determination, just like his decidedly strong and sexy style. His student work was noticed by Isabella Blow, the muse of Alexander McQueen, who would later support his first Collection. Blow herself became his manager. The House of Arkadius was founded in London in 1999. Success was immediate, and among his customers were the hottest names in pop music and international show business. He was given the Elle Magazine award for Best Polish Designer 2000, and was chosen by Placido Domingo to design the costumes of Don Giovanni, co-produced by the Los Angeles Opera and the Polish National Opera. His creations can be found in the most daring boutiques in the world, but he also has his own store in the center of London.

Albane

Camille (1943). French hairdresser. She began to work in 1965 with Jacques Dessange and with him opened the first Camille Albane salon in 1969. She develops a network of franchises, following the example of her teacher, who was the first to introduce it to the world of hairdressers. She concluded an exclusive agreement for the Avon line. She is famous for her colors, above all for a certain red dye obtained from natural ingredients.