The History Of Dior

A brand started from Paris and now popularly known and loved by all around the globe, Dior- its unique style has influenced the fashion world since its beginning. Trendy but traditional, continues its reputation as creator of recognized haute couture. From their ready-to-wear fashionable leather goods and accessories to their footwear, Dior has been a game changer in the fashion industry. The brand is known to be one of the leading companies that have remained at the top of fashion’s hierarchy for over 70 years now.  Thanks to the genius mind of Christian Dior, this trendsetting brand came into existence and influenced the lifestyle of many.

Christian Dior

The fashion house established in December 1946 was founded by Christian Dior, born on January 1905, in Paris. Dior’s first launched its collection on the 12th of February 1947 for spring and summer. Following an instant success, Harper’s Bazaar Editor-In-Chief Carmel Snow strongly believed in Dior’s talent. “It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look,” she exclaimed. Thus, the “New Look” became a trademark and a set a new trend of fashion in the market. Producing unique and innovative silhouettes of shorter, fuller skirts, tighter waists, and accentuated busts – Dior’s pieces were revolutionary, especially in the 40s. Based on the innovation of each of his designs and his business practices, he was known to be one of the most successful fashion designers in the world. His designs have been worn by film stars and royalty alike, and his company continues to operate at the leading edge of the fashion world.

The New Look

THE NEW LOOK by Dior successfully revived the Haute Couture in Paris, then a fashion capital in the aftermath of World War II. In assessment to the austere ensembles within the postwar period, Dior created dresses, labeled “The New Look” with a small, nipped-in waist and a full skirt falling underneath mid-calf length, accentuating an hourglass shape. Incorporated by the “Bar” suit from his debut collection in 1947, Dior successfully changed the landscape of French fashion, leading other designers to follow this look.

Christian Before Dior And His Early Fashion Days

Prior to the great success of the brand and its history in the world of fashion, Christian was always known to be an extra ordinary person, he would always avoid all kinds of social gatherings and preferred living a secluded life in an isolated area. He was the second of five children born to Alexandre Louis Maurice Dior the proprietor of a profoundly effective fertilizer producer, and his spouse, Isabelle. Dior’s family moved to Paris, where Christian spent his youth. Despite fact that Dior was passionately enthusiastic about arts, architecture and craftsmanship, his father pressured him into studying political science and got him enrolled into École des Sciences Politiques to begin his studies.

In 1928, he graduated and opened a small art gallery with the help of his father, who had agreed to support the finances and lend him money in exchange of not using the family name above the gallery door. Within a few years of its opening Dior’s gallery handled the works of many notable artists as Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Max Jacob. He was constrained to shut the gallery in 1931, a year that included the passing of both his brother and mother. In the same year his father’s business faced major financial crisis too.

He the redirected his path and worked under the influence of a known fashion designer Robert Piguet until he was called up to serve in the military  in 1940, the beginning of World War II. Dior served in the south of France as an officer in the French army.

Following France’s surrender to Germany in 1940, Dior found his way back to Paris, where he was hired by couturier Lucien Lelong. Dior and Pierre Balmain were the primary designers; he then spent the remaining years of the war consistently designing dresses for women of both Nazis and French collaborators as way of preserving the fashion industry throughout the conflict for both economic and artistic reasons.

In 1946, Christian then founded the house of Christian Dior on December 16, at 30 Avenue Montaigne Paris, supported by Marcel Boussac, a cotton-fabric magnate. The house of Dior considers 1947 to be the official year of conception as that is when Dior showed his first summer and spring collection.

In 1957, after appearing on the cover of Time magazine for a several months, Dior had traveled to Italy for a vacation in the town of Montecatini. During his trip, on October 23, 1957, he had his third heart attack and died, at the age of 52.  It is said that, over 2,500 people attended his funeral, including his successor Yves Saint Laurent.

DIOR – The Brand

Dior’s work gained immense popularity for his designs showcasing and empowering women. He launched his first fragrance in name of his sister in 1947, a member of the French Resistance and a survivor of the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

The combination of classicism and modernity in Dior’s designs defined fashion for over a decade and remained one of the most striking looks to date. Ever since the 40’s the brand has become one of the most famous and highly regarded and recommended fashion companies in the world. The House of Dior quickly gained a reputation for being luxurious, for using only the best materials. Dior became popular among the elite social class and worked with high profile clients including Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

Expansion of Dior began from France by the end of 1949; Christian Dior opened a boutique in New York City. By the end of the same year, almost 75% of Paris’s fashion exports and 5% of France’s total export revenue was made up alone by Dior fashions.

In 1949, Douglas Cox from Melbourne, Australia, travelled to Paris and arranged for a meeting with Christian Dior to discuss business of having Dior pieces made for the Australian market. Christian Dior and Douglas Cox then signed a contract for Dior to produce original designs for Douglas Cox to create them in his Flinders Lane workshop.

What does Dior offer?

Dior, a brand so popular amongst the elite class has a wide range of products. Starting from its innovative clothing line to its popular scents, the brand has found itself to be in good books of all its users. It is of no surprise that the demand for purchasing Dior products is high, in addition to their exceptional clothing line and perfumes Dior has also diversified their products into various segments of the fashion industry.

Dior has successfully launched its own makeup and skin care products, a few of which are:

  • Dior Skin (face makeup): Foundations, concealers, powders, blush, and sun protection makeup
  • For Eyes: Mascara, eye shadow, liners, eyebrows
  • Dior Addict (lip makeup line): Lipstick, gloss, lip liners, lip balm
  • Nails: Nail lacquers and manicure
  • Make up accessories: Brushes
  • Face skincare: Premium anti-aging skincare; global anti-aging skincare; wrinkle correction; firmness correction; cleansers, toners, and face masks.
  • Body care: Hydration and refining products
  • Eye care: Specialist eye treatment
  • Sun care: Self-tanners, sun protection
  • Men skincare: Shaving, relaxing; repairing and nourishing products

Dior also expanded its clothing line from women’s collection to now serving a wide range of stylish wear for Men and children. Along with that, they also design and have a lavish, luxurious range of stylish bags which are loved by women around the world creating a new age fashion trend. One will be surprised as to how this brand has been running successfully from 1947 till date, adapting itself to the changes in the years. Dior has maintained its standard and quality in every product they launch.

Dior, Today

Ever since Dior’s passing, six artistic directors have succeeded him, their names are- Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri. Each one of them have taken the brand name, designed and created styles in different directions. Saint Laurent has been known for making the clothing line more youthful, Bohan took the brand in a more conservative direction, and Ferré created more romantic and defined designs.

One notable and special moment for the Dior brand was the designing and creation of the famous Lady Dior handbag by Ferré. The small black leather grab bag gained a lot of attention for its elegant rattan pattern, round top handles, and gold charms which was popularized by the Princess Diana. 

As of today, Dior is well established, luxurious and a highly appreciated fashion house that continues to create amusing designs meeting every modern day women’s style needs. Many popular designers follow and take inspiration from Dior’s work and his desire to make women feel their most beautiful self through his elegant clothing collection and for you to know, the Lady Dior handbag has become an iconic status in the eyes of many.

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