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Naomi Sims, two Model of the Year Awards

18 Oct
Naomi Sims

Naomi Ruth Sims (March 30, 1948 – August 1, 2009) was an American model, businesswoman and author. She was the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal, and is widely credited as being the first African-American supermodel.

Sims was born in Oxford, Mississippi, the youngest of three daughters born to John and Elizabeth Sims. Her father (whom she never knew) reportedly worked as a porter, but Sims’ mother later described him “an absolute bum” and her parents divorced shortly after she was born. She was teased for her height of 5’10 at the age of 13. Mrs Sims later moved with her three daughters to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Naomi’s mother was forced to put her child into foster care. She attended Westinghouse High School. There due to her height, she was ostracized by many of her classmates.

Naomi Sims

vogue italia 1969Vogue Italia, 1969
1971, Naomi Sims
Irving Penn for Vogueph. Irving Penn for Vogue
vogue 1970Vogue 1970

Sims often said childhood insecurities and a painful upbringing — living in foster homes, towering over her classmates and living in a largely poor white neighborhood in Pittsburgh — had inspired her to strive to become “somebody really important” at a time when cultural perceptions of black Americans were being challenged by the civil rights movement and a renewed stress on racial pride.

Sims began college after winning a scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 1966, while also taking night classes in psychology at New York University. Her early attempts to get modeling work through established agencies were frustrated by racial prejudice, with some agencies telling her that her skin was too dark. There was very little interest in fashion for black models and only a handful who had been successful, like Dorothea Towles Church, who starred in the couture shows in 1950s Paris, and Donyale Luna, who was named Vogue’s model of the year in 1966.

Her first career breakthrough came after she decided to sidestep the agencies and go directly to fashion photographers and Gosta Peterson, a photographer for The New York Times, agreed to photograph her for the cover of the paper’s August 1967 fashion supplement, then called Fashions of The Times.

Naomi Sims

Irving PennPh. Irving Penn

Naomi Sims

Despite this breakthrough, Sims still found it difficult to get work, so she approached Wilhelmina Cooper, a former model who was starting her own agency, saying that she would send out copies of the Times supplement to advertising agencies, attaching Cooper’s telephone number, and that Cooper’s agency would get a commission if Naomi received any work. Within a year Sims was earning US$1000 a week. The key breakthrough came when she was selected for a national television campaign for AT&T, wearing clothes by designer Bill Blass. In 1968 Sims told Ladies’ Home Journal: “It helped me more than anything else because it showed my face. After it was aired, people wanted to find out about me and use me.”

Sims was suddenly in high demand, modeling for top designers like Halston, Teal Traina, Fernando Sánchez and Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, and standing at the vanguard of a fashion movement for black models that would give rise to runway stars of the 1970s, including Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn and Beverly Johnson.

She became one of the first successful black models while still in her teens, and achieved worldwide recognition from the late 1960s into the early 1970s, appearing on the covers of prestigious fashion and popular magazines. The New York Times wrote that (her) “appearance as the first black model on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in November 1968 was a consummate moment of the Black is Beautiful movement”. She also appeared on the cover of the October 17, 1969 issue of Life magazine. This was the first African-American model on the cover of the magazine. The images from the 1967 New York Times fashion magazine cover and the 1969 Life magazine cover were exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in an exhibition entitled The Model as Muse.

Naomi Sims, LIFE cover

In 1969 and 1970, Naomi Sims received the Model of the Year award. In 1972 she received the Woman of Achievement Medal and then the Top Hat Award in 1974.

By 1972, Hollywood took an interest in her as a potential actress and offered her the title role in the movie Cleopatra Jones, but when Sims read the script, she was appalled by the racist portrayal of blacks in the movie and turned it down. Sims ultimately decided to go into the beauty business for herself. Sims retired from modeling after five years to start her own business which created a successful wig collection fashioned after the texture of straightened black hair. It eventually expanded into a multimillion-dollar beauty empire and at least five books on modeling and beauty. 

She authored several books on modeling, health, and beauty, including All About Health and Beauty for the Black Woman, How to Be a Top Model and All About Success for the Black Woman, as well as an advice column for teenage girls in Right On! magazine.

Naomi Sims

In the 1980s, she expanded the Naomi Sims Collection to include a prestige fragrance, beauty salons and cosmetics, but by the end of the decade she had become less involved with its daily operations. Many images of  Sims from that period are still used to promote the products that bear her name.

In August 1973, she married art dealer Michael Findlay. Findlay and Sims caused a stir as Findlay was white and interracial marriage in 1973 was still considered taboo. Findlay and Sims were both profiled separately in the February 1, 1970 issue of Vogue before they met and married. They had one son, Bob. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1991.

Sims died of breast cancer on August 1, 2009, aged 61, in Newark, New Jersey.

Naomi Sims

“Naomi was the first. She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke down all the social barriers.”   

Halston in 1974

 

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Book

Naomi Sims book, not the real Book cover

How to be a top model

Hardcover – 1979

1ste edition is over € 1.350,- !!!!

ISBN-10: 0385133618

ISBN-13: 978-0385133616

 

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ph. Steven Meisel 1990Naomi Sims, ph. Steven Meisel 1990

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info: WikiPedia &

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/fashion/04sims.html?_r=0

Wilhelmina Cooper, from Model to Model Agencie

11 Oct

Wilhelmina Cooper

Wilhelmina Cooper (1 May 1939 – 1 March 1980) was a Dutch model who began with Ford Models and, at the peak of her success, founded her own agency, Wilhelmina Models, in New York City in 1967.

 

Born Wilhelmina Behmenburg in Culemborg, the Netherlands, she was known professionally simply as “Wilhelmina,” or “Willy” to intimates. Wilhelmina grew up in Oldenburg, Germany. She moved with her family to Chicago, USA, in 1954. She became one of the most famous models of the 1950s and 1960s. During her career as a model she was on the cover of 255 magazines. For a long time she also held the record for most covers on American Vogue, appearing 27 or 28 times.

Vogue Covers

1965. Irving Penn.ph. Irving Penn, 1965bert-stern-wilhelmina-cooper-vogue-janaury-15-1964-1ph. Bert Stern, 1964

Wilhelmina Cooper

Wilhelmina Cooper

Wilhelmina Cooper

Wilhelmina Cooper

She was one of the most recognizable models of her time and she was considered the last star of the couture era in modeling.

In 1965 she married Bruce Cooper, former executive producer of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. In 1967 they founded Wilhelmina Models, which became the other leading model agency alongside Ford Models, years before Elite Model Management and other agencies began.

1964 .Wilhelmina Cooper

Wilhelmina Cooper

Wilhelmina Cooper

irving penn,1965ph. Irving Penn, 1965

Cooper’s agency played a major role in launching the career of Naomi Sims, credited as the first African-American supermodel. Sims began her modeling career in the mid-1960s but despite a breakthrough appearance in the New York Times fashion supplement in 1967, she found it difficult to get work. Sims approached Cooper and told her that she would send out copies of the Times supplement to agencies and that Cooper would receive a commission on any work Sims received from this. Within a year, Sims was earning US$1000 a week; in 1968 she appeared on the cover of the Ladies’Home Journal and the following year she appeared on the cover of Life magazine.

On 1 March 1980, Cooper died of lung cancer at the age of 40 in Greenwich Hospital.

According to her obituary in Time magazine:

During her cover-girl days, Wilhelmina boasted that she was “one of the few high-fashion models built like a woman.” And she was. With her 5 ft. 11 in., 38-24-36 frame, doe eyes, delicate cheekbones and mane of high-piled dark hair, she epitomized the classical, aristocratic look that she helped to make the style standard of the 1950s and ’60s…

Wilhelmina Cooper

Wilhelmina Cooper

Wilhelmina Cooper

vogue , 1965

Cooper’s daughter, Melissa, told Michael Gross (author of “Model: the Ugly Business of Being Beautiful”) she believes her mother chose to kill herself with cigarettes instead of facing, and fixing, her horribly imperfect life, suffering as an abused wife of an alcoholic husband.

Cooper was portrayed by Faye Dunaway (who won a Golden Globe for her performance) in the 1998 movie Gia, which tells the story of Gia Carangi, a model who was discovered by Cooper and later died of AIDS.

In American sitcom Ugly Betty, the antagonist Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa L. Williams) is named as a tribute to Cooper. Her nickname, Willy, and the fact that she became a successful businesswoman in fashion after being a model were attached directly to the character.

Wilhelmina Cooper

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Movie

Gia film poster

Gia is a 1998  biographical film about the tragic life and times of one of America’s first supermodels, Gia Marie Carangi. The film stars Angelina Jolie as Gia and Faye Dunaway as Wilhelmina Cooper.

Gia Carangi is a Philadelphia native who moves to New York City to become a fashion model and immediately catches the attention of powerful agent Wilhelmina Cooper. Gia’s attitude and beauty help her rise quickly to the forefront of the modeling industry, but her persistent loneliness after the death of Wilhelmina drives her to experiment with mood-altering drugs like cocaine. She becomes entangled in a passionate affair with Linda, a make-up artist. Their love affair first starts when both pose nude and make love to each other after a photo shoot. However, after a while Linda begins to worry about Gia’s drug use and gives her an ultimatum; Gia chooses the drugs. Failed attempts at reconciliation with Linda and with her mother, Kathleen, drive Gia to begin abusing heroin. Although she is eventually able to break her drug habit after much effort, she has already contracted HIV from a needle containing infected blood.

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info:Wikipedia

Veronique Branquinho, known for her long Pleated Skirts

16 Aug

Veronique BranquinhoVeronique Branquinho is a diverse Belgian designer who creates ladieswear, menswear, shoes, boots, sunglasses and lingerie. She has worked on several projects collaboratively with other designers and fashion manufacturers. Her designs fall into the luxury brand category, are well-tailored, and use the finest fabrics to create striking, yet lovely garments. She is in tune with the female body and believes that clothing should be made to fit perfectly, thus, making them more comfortable and more appealing. Her attention to detail through the use of quality fabrics is her signature feature.

Short Biography

Veronique was born in Vilvoorde, Belgium in 1973. As a child, she was timid and quiet, preferring to be alone, rather than in a large group. Because of this, she never imagined working with so many people, owning a company, much less being in the limelight. The world of fashion to her was something that people saw in a magazine, not something that someone like her lived. But she did decide to study fashion, and like other excellent designers from Belgium, she studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1995.

Early Designs

Veronique Branquinho ss 2000

Veronique Branquinho ss 2000

Veronique Branquinho S 1999

Veronique Branquinho fall 1999

Veronique Branquinho 99 2000
Veronique Branquinho

After graduation, Veronique worked hard and released her first collection in 1997, a ready-to-wear womens line. Her label was called Veronique Branquinho. She was not afraid to show her work and was confident enough to present the collection on the Paris runway. All of the garments were clearly top quality, as she wanted everything to be perfect, right down to the finishing touches and magnificent detailing of each item. She was immediately known for her long pleated skirts which resembled kilts in a maxi styling length. Her womenswear collections would continue until Fall 2009.

Not long after Veronique’s first showing, she established an actual company in Antwerp, as she was growing from the orders from luxury companies like Barneys New York and Iris in Montreal. Boutiques in Moscow, Tokyo, London and Paris also wanted to stock her now famous label. By Fall 2003, she launched her menswear line which also continued successfully until 2009. One her most unique collections was the 2006 “his and hers” line. It was basically the same garments, but made for both men and women. The women’s line also had a skirt which was made from the same fabric as the men’s pants. When interviewed, she said that this was probably her favorite collection to date.

‘His and Hers’ Collection00110m

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Through the years, collaboration was important to Veronique and she has worked with numerous companies to create unique pieces. Examples include luxury eyewear with Linda Farrow, a British sunglass designer; leather goods with Raf Simmons for Ruffo Research, an Italian company; an exclusive sixteen-piece collection for 3 Suisses, a French catalog company selling upper end fashions; and jazz shoes for Repetto, the French company that specializes in ballet and dance footwear.

By early 2008, just ten short years in business, Veronique had shown a total of twenty-one collections on the Paris catwalk. As a result, she was permitted a presentation at the MoMu which was called “Moi, Veronique: Branquinho Toute Nue” translated as “Totally Naked Veronique”. It was a reflection of her ten successful years showing examples of her ideas and the actual clothing that she created.

Ruffo Research by Veronique Branquinho & Raf Simmons

Ruffo Research by Veronique Branquinho & Raf Simmons

Ruffo Research by Veronique Branquinho & Raf Simmons

Ruffo Research by Veronique Branquinho & Raf Simmons

In early 2009, Veronique announced that she would have to close her company, ending production of her own designs and label. The economy was such that she felt she could no longer sustain a business and compete in the marketplace solely on the merits of her name. She also felt that although many great designers existed, and people loved their finished products, independent designers were no match against the conglomerates in the fashion world. Joyfully, that has not stopped her from carrying on with her designs. Since then, she has worked on various projects and keeps her name in the spotlight through designing for other companies.

Shortly before leaving her own brand, Veronique was named Artistic Director for Delvaux, a prestigious leather manufacturer with over two hundred years of history crafting handbags. The first collection she designed for the company debuted in Paris for Fall-Winter 2010. Additionally, in early 2010, she entered into an agreement with Camper, a Spanish shoe company, to create a line called “Veronique Branquinho for Camper Together“. The collection was released in the Spring of 2010 around April.

Lingerie Collection

Veronique Branquinho pour Marie Jo LAventure

Veronique Branquinho pour Marie Jo LAventure

Veronique Branquinho pour Marie Jo LAventure

One of her collaborations is a lingerie collection. In the fall of 2011, Marie Jo L’Aventure, a lingerie company in Belgium, requested Veronique’s assistance in creating a new “design series”, something completely unique . Called “Veronique Branquinho voor Marie Jo L’Aventure“, the eleven pieces are absolutely stunning. A “silky gloss look”, in green or black satin and tulle, the collection includes three variations on a balconette bra, a fiberfill bra, a strapless bra, a full body (teddy from shoulder straps to crotch closures), a rio brief, a full brief with control top, a hipster brief, g-string, and garter band with straps. Each piece is sumptuously comfortable to wear and truly elegant to view.

For a short period, Veronique worked at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna where she taught fashion. Although the strict teaching side of designing does not interest her as much, she does help young up-and-coming designers, such as George Bezhanishvili, who studied under her tutelage. Likewise, Delvaux has a relationship with the program, so she sometimes works with Masters students while she creates for the company.

Fall/Winter ’15 Collection

fall 2015.

fall 2015.

fall 2015

fall 2015.

fall 2015

Veronique returned to fashion under her own name, three years after filing for bankruptcy. The designer set to return to the ready-to-wear (S/S 2013) schedule in Paris, with a slightly lower-priced offering than her former eponymous brand.

Created along with Italian clothing manufacturer Gibò, who has reportedly also invested in her company, the collection will be a “bit more adult” than her former designs, she says.

I’ve always been a no-nonsense girl, I think,” the designer said. “My approach is also like that and I think this is something people are looking for – honest things… Before, I had an independent company. I was responsible for everything. In this new situation, it feels so comfortable, because I’m only busy with the creative part.”

Resort 2016 Collection

resort 2016

resort 2016

resort 2016

resort 2016

resort 2016

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A Magazine curated by Veronique Branquinho ( No.6)
AMAGAZINECURATEDBYVERONIQUEBRANQUINHO_Page_001

Watch A Magazine curated by Veronique Branquinho by clicking on the link below

http://www.amagazinecuratedby.com/issues/veronique-branquinho/

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 .Veronique Branquinho -®MARK SEGAL_0

Veronique Branquinho  ®MARK SEGAL

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info:

http://www.belgian-fashion.com/veronique-branquinho-a-bio.php

http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2012/06/25/veronique-branquinho-returns—catwalk-comeback

Pierre Cardin, Fetish for the Bubble

26 Jul
Pierre Cardin
One of the most recognizable names in fashion, Pierre Cardin has been designing elegant and avant-garde creations for over half a century. Born as Pietro Cardin in a small town in Italy on 2 July 1922, Cardin made a name for himself in France after moving to Paris post World War II. In 1946, he was commissioned to design the costumes for legendary film director Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast. Cocteau was very impressed with his work and introduced him to designer Christian Dior. At the age of 25, Cardin secured a position as the head of one of Christian Dior’s studios. A few years later in 1953, the House of Cardin was founded and he quickly gained a following of his own.
1946_cocteau_belle-et-bete_cJean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, costumes by Pierre Cardin

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Short Biography

pierre-cardin-logo2

Beginning his career early, Cardin, aged 14, worked as a clothier’s apprentice, learning the basics of fashion design and construction. In 1939, he left home to work for a tailor in Vichy, where he began making suits for women. During WWII, he worked for the Red Cross.
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Cardin moved to Paris in 1945. There, he studied architecture and worked with the fashion house of Paquin. He worked with Elsa Schiaparelli until he became head of Christian Dior’s tailleure atelier in 1947, but was denied work at Balenciaga.
Cardin founded his own house in 1950. He started out by designing clothing for stage productions, but soon built up a client base. Christian Dior sent Cardin roses as congratulations, and, a much more important gesture of encouragement, directed his overflow clients to Cardin’s new business.
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His career was launched when he designed about 30 of the costumes for “the party of the century”, a masquerade ball at Palazzo Labia in Venice on 3 September 1951, hosted by the palazzo’s owner, Carlos de Beistegui. 
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Cardin says of his company’s beginning, “I started with 20 people. I was successful immediately.” In 1953, Cardin released his first collection of women’s clothing and became a member of the Chambre Syndicale, a French association of haute couture designers. In 1954, he opened his first boutique for women, called Eve. That same year, his bubble dresses became an international success. The design is still popular today: a loose-fitting dress is tightened near the waistline, broadens and then is brought back in at the hem, creating a “bubble” effect.
Pierre Cardin Bubble DressA Pierre Cardin Bubble Dress


Soon, though, Cardin was looking outside France for inspiration. He visited Japan in 1957, becoming one of the first Western designers to seek out Eastern influences. In Japan, he scoped out business opportunities while studying the country’s fashions for new ideas. The Japanese fashion school Bunka Fukusoi made him an honorary professor, and he taught a one-month class there on three-dimensional cuts. Also in 1957, Cardin opened his first boutique for men in Paris, called Adam.

In 1959, he was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale for launching a ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps department store as the first couturier in Paris, but was soon reinstated.

Circles in Pierre Cardin’s Fashion Designs

Pierre Cardin

1966 Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin

1970 Pierre Cardin

1971 Pierre Cardin

During the 1960s, Cardin began a practise that is now commonplace by creating the system of licenses that he was to apply to fashion. A clothing collection launched around this period surprised all by displaying the designer’s logo on the garments for the first time.

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Cardin resigned from the Chambre Syndicale in 1966 and began showing his collections in his own venue, the “Espace Cardin” (opened 1971) in Paris, formerly the “Théâtre des Ambassadeurs”. The Espace Cardin is also used to promote new artistic talents, like theater ensembles, musicians, and others. He was also contacted by Pakistan International Airlines to design uniforms for the flag carrier. The uniforms were introduced in 1966 to 1971 and became an instant hit.

Pierre Cardin for PIAUniforms for Paskistan International Airlines 
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In 1971, Cardin redesigned the Barong Tagalog, a national costume of the Philipines by opening the front, removing the cuffs that needed  cufflinks, flaring the sleeves, and minimizing the embroidery. It was also tapered to the body, in contrast with the traditional loose-fitting design; it also had a thicker collar with sharp and pointed cuffs. 
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Continuously fascinated by geometric shapes, in 1975, Cardin applied his fetish for the bubble to a monumental domestic work which would become Le Palais Bulles (the Bubble House), along with the help of architect Antti Lovag. Cardin furnished the Bubble House with his original creations. The curves of the Bubble House extend over 1,200 square metres and contain ten bedrooms decorated by contemporary artists, as well as a panoramic living room.

The Bubble House

Pierre-Cardin’s-Bubble-House-by-Antti-Lovag-designrulz-1
Pierre-Cardin’s-Bubble-House-by-Antti-Lovag-designrulz-2
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Pierre-Cardin’s-Bubble-House-by-Antti-Lovag-designrulz-4
Pierre-Cardin’s-Bubble-House-by-Antti-Lovag-designrulz-8
Cardin was a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Prêt-à-Porter from 1953 to 1993.

Cardin bought Maxim’s restaurants in 1981 and soon opened branches in New York, London, and Beijing (1983). A chain of Maxim’s Hotels are now included in the assets. He has also licensed a wide range of food products under that name..

Like many other designers today, Cardin decided in 1994 to show his collection only to a small circle of selected clients and journalists. After a break of 15 years, he showed a new collection to a group of 150 journalists at his bubble home in Cannes.

1967 Pierre Cardin

 

1967 Pierre Cardin

1971 Pierre Cardin

1968 Pierre Cardin

1973 Pierre Cardin

1968 Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin

 

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 Books

book cover

Pierre Cardin: Fifty Years of Fashion and design

This is the first authorized monograph on Pierre Cardin (b. 1922). Visionary fashion designer and licensing pioneer, Cardin began his career apprenticed to Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior. He quickly launched his own haute couture line, in 1954, followed rapidly by the first women’s and men’s prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) collections from a couture designer. Since the 1960s, Cardin’s cutting-edge, futuristic designs have continually broken new ground and established exciting new trends. And he invented the business of fashion as we know it today, with international brand licensing across a variety of products and media. Pierre Cardin himself made his ambition clear: “I wanted my name to become a brand and not just a label.”

Cardin brought high fashion to the street; he invented the bubble dress and launched the use of cartridge pleating, bright clear colors, as well as vinyl, plastics, metal rings, and oversize buttons. Pierre Cardin has also designed accessories, furniture, and cosmetics. There are now more than 900 licenses in over 140 countries, employing more than 200,000 people under the Pierre Cardin trademark.

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Book cover

 

Pierre Cardin: 60 Years of Innovation

The Cardin fashion house celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010, an occasion that called for a retrospective of the work of its founder, designer Pierre Cardin. Born in 1922 in Sant’Andrea de Barbarana, Venice province, Pierre Cardin immigrated to Paris in 1924 with his parents, who were thrown into poverty by World War I. After working briefly with Elsa Schiaparelli, Cardin joined Dior in 1946 and opened his own couture house in 1950.

He was a pioneer from the start, creating a design-based, architectural fash ion with a futurist sensibility. Cardin also had a pioneer’s understanding of fashion’s relationship to new audiences, presenting his collections to large crowds. He was the first to demonstrate that fashion can be both a creative process and a business – and that one man can excel as both a business man and an artist.

This volume is a tribute to an iconoclastic – and now iconic – designer, entrepreneur, and visionary.

pierre-candin-and-models-1966

pierre cardin logo

 

info: http://www.whatgoesaroundnyc.com/blog/12540 & Wikipedia

Martin Margiela, Designer of Intelligent Fashion

5 Jul

Martin Margiela

Martin Margiela first got the fashion world thinking in 1989 with a collection that challenged what luxury could be. Applying ‘grunge’ techniques such as deconstruction, recycling and raw finishes, in an intelligent and sleek manner, his ideas provoked shock and intrigue. In a rejection of mass media culture, Margiela became an anonymous design hand and has hardly ever been photographed or interviewed. Working under the collective ‘Maison Martin Margiela’ for over 20 years, Margiela left the label in 2009.

.Maison Martin Margiela studioMaison Martin Margiela studio photo on invitation show a/w '96'97 
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Short Biography

Martin Margiela was born on April 9 1957 in Genk, Belgium.

In a rare interview with Sphere in 1983, Margiela talked about his first fashion experience. “I was watching the TV news and there was an item about (Paco) Rabanne and (André) Courrèges. As soon as I saw their designs I thought, ‘how wonderful, people are doing the sort of thing I want to do’.”

Margiela graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1979. Today he is considered an honorary member of the ‘Antwerp Six’, the ground-breaking group of designers that emerged from the academy in 1980, including Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten. This wave of talent is credited with pushing the fashion industry beyond Paris, New York, London and Milan, kick-starting today’s global marketplace.

Martin Margiela & Jean Paul GaultierMartin Margiela & Jean Paul Gaultier
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In 1984 Martin moved to Paris to work as a design assistant to Jean Paul Gaultier. “I already knew he was good, but I didn’t realise to what extent,” Gaultier later said.

Margiela founded his eponymous label in 1988, provoking instant reaction with his first collection. “It was really a shock for everybody to see Margiela’s first silhouettes… you realised that he was much more advanced than everybody else,” designer Bob Verhelst, told Icon in 2009.

Martin Margiela won the very first ANDAM fellowship in 1989, a now prestigious prize that has since been awarded to Viktor and Rolf, Richard Nicoll, Gareth Pugh and Giles Deacon.

Martin Margiela F/W 1992

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In an unexpected move, iconoclast Margiela became womenswear director of classic design house Hermes in 1997. “When (Jean-Louis Dumas, chairman of Hermes, and I) first met, he asked me anxiously if I was going to cut the Kelly in half because, at the time, the press used the words grunge and destroy to describe my work,” the designer told Grazia in a rare statement.

Margiela for HermesMartin Margiela for Hermes
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Margiela launched his first menswear collection in 1998, known as line 10. Every new product range is given a number from 0 to 23, acting as a referencing code rather than a chronological order. The original tags were blank white labels, hand tacked with four white stitches that could be seen from the outside of the garment – a symbol of cool for those in-the-know. The ranges have expanded to include fine jewellery (12), footwear (22), eyewear (8), objects (13) and fragrance (3).

Maison Martin Margiela  Menswear

Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Martin Margiela Footwear 

MaisonMartinMargiela-TabiBoots

Maison Martin Margiela Fragrance

Maison MArtin Margiela Fragrance

Maison martin Margiela Fine Jewellery

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In 2002 Maison Martin Margiela became a public company with the majority share acquired by Diesel Group owner Renzo Russo.

Margiela stepped down from his role at Hermes in 2003, and was ironically succeeded by his former mentor, Jean Paul Gaultier.

In March 2006, Margiela presented a critically acclaimed collection where perfectly tailored trouser suits were made from seventies upholstery fabrics and car seatbelts were used to draw in silhouettes. His work with unconventional materials is renowned and other hits have included tops patch-worked from vintage leather gloves, cleft-toe boots and jewellery made of coloured ice, dyeing the clothes as it melted. The designer’s presentation methods have been equally brilliant, as one show challenged editors and buyers to seat themselves according to their perceived importance, while another saw models wheeled out on trolleys.

margiela jacket from leather gloves

maison-martin-margiela-recycled-denim

The Chambre Syndicale invited Maison Martin Margiela to show their first haute couture collection on the official Paris schedule in May 2006, an acknowledgement of true excellence and craftsmanship.

In 2008, 20 a retrospective of the Maison’s work opened at the Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp.

In October 2009 it was announced that Margiela had resigned from his position as creative director at the Maison, although insiders suggested that he had been ‘absent’ for a while. Rumours circulated that he had disagreed with the commercial drive of the new Diesel ownership and felt that the Maison was sacrificing its authenticity and exclusivity in favour of becoming a globally recognised brand.

MMM-labels

In the months that followed the question of who could replace Margiela became a hot topic, with Raf Simons and Haider Ackermann reportedly turning down offers to become the successor.

The 20 retrospective moved to London’s Somerset House in June 2010 with a party attended by many of the designer’s more recognisable peers and acolytes. The big question of the evening was whether the ‘invisible’ designer himself was present. ‘Moving freely among (the celebrity-filled crowd) was that balding, grey-haired gent. Was it Margiela? Well, that assumes all Martin had to do was remove his signature cap to pass as One of Us,’ Style.Com’s Tim Blanks reported.

The 20 Retrospective Exhibition

The 20 retrospective

Maison Martin Margiela

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

Margiela’s radical concepts have influenced everybody from Azzedine Alaïa to Alexander McQueen.”Anybody who’s aware of what life is in a contemporary world is influenced by Margiela Marc Jacobs told Women’s Wear Daily in 2008.

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Short Film on Martin Margiela: The Artist Absent

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Books

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Maison Martin Margiela

Graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the 1980s, Martin Margiela (and his contemporaries in the Antwerp Six) transformed global fashion with his aggressive restatement of traditional fashion design and a polemical approach to luxury trends. Working first with the house of Gaultier, Margiela absorbed the radical design of Japanese deconstruction, making it wholly his own with the founding of his own label in 1988. Margiela propounds a singular, enigmatic look, moving beyond the recognizable tropes of deconstruction—a monochromatic palette, outsized garments, non-traditional fabrics, exposed seams, or roughly appliquéd details—to develop a fully considered worldview, one with elegance, mystery, and menace in equal measure. This book provides an inside look at the design process from a craftsman who creates pieces prized for their originality, delicacy, and daring. In the spirit of Margiela’s garments, the book is a work of art in itself, designed exclusively by Margiela and complete with silver inks, ribbon markers, a variety of lush paper types, twelve booklets, and an embroidered white-linen cover. This book provides a window onto the intimate, handmade world of a unique designer.

ISBN-13: 978-0847831883 ISBN-10: 0847831884

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Maison Martin Margiela: 20 Years The Exhibition

Twenty years of Maison Martin Margiela is examined in this unique retrospective exhibition catalogue. Departing from the traditional idea of presenting a comprehensive overview, the catalogue explores the different themes and concepts that have been present in the Maison’s production. This extends to their collections, events, the interior designs of their boutiques and offices, and the unmistakeable approach to their graphics and communication.

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Martin Margiela: Street Special 1 & 2

 

In 1995, Tokyo-based Street magazine approached the Paris fashion house of Martin Margiela with an invitation to publish a special edition dedicated to its work. Maison Martin Margiela guest-edited the magazine, and was solely responsible for the selection of images and presentation, which includes many previously unpublished photographs from its archives. The success of the first volume led to the publication of a second instalment in 1999, and together the two special issues cover every Martin Margiela collection from Spring/Summer 1989 through to Spring/Summer 1999. Now both popular volumes have been made available once more in this combined reprint.

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martin margiela Belgium newspaper, dated March 3, 1983.

 

Martin Margiela, Belgium newspaper, dated March 3, 19838
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info:http://www.vogue.co.uk/spy/biographies/martin-margiela