Mainbocher was a brand founded by the American designer Main Rousseau Bocher born in 1891. He achieved great fame in Paris between the two world wars. For American women his name was a hallmark of good taste, innovative materials, and elegance without complications. Born in Chicago, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Art Student League in New York. Between 1911 and 1917, he lived between Monaco, Paris, and London. After World War I he decided to stay in Paris to attempt an operatic career, which he was forced to abandon due to problems with his vocal chords.

The designer’s clothes worn by the models and the designer in the background

Instead, Mainbocher began to collaborate as a designer on Harper’s Bazaar and moved to Vogue, where he was taken on as an editor, later becoming responsible for the French edition. He remained there till 1929. The following year he began to work as a designer, becoming the first American couturier with a Parisian atelier on Avenue Georges V. He became instantly known for his close-fitting gowns, sweaters lined with fur and his very simple black dresses, suitable for any occasion.

His models appeared on the catwalk wearing white gloves, pearl necklaces and with bows in their hair. He designed Wallis Simpson’s wedding dress, which brought him press attention from around the world. In 1940, with France already at war, he decided to return to New York, where he continued to run an atelier until 1971.

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