Christian Lacroix - Biography

Christian Marie Marc Lacroix (May 16, 1951 in Arles, France) is a French fashion designer.

Christian Lacroix

In early childhood, Lacroix attended bullfighting events and enjoyed Gypsy and Provencal traditions as well. He spent time at art museums and enjoyed reading books from the attic. In his youth, he also took a liking to Oscar Wilde and the Beatles. After studying Art History at the University of Montpellier, he went on to the Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre in 1973. His aspiration during this time was to become a museum curator. It was during this time he met his future wife Françoise. Around the same time, he met Jean-Jacques Picart. Picart was attributed with several haute couture houses and helped aid in gaining Christian Lacroix a job working at Hermes in 1978 and then Guy Paulin in 1980. After graduating from the École du Louvre, in 1981 he started working at Jean Patou. With help from Jean-Jacques Picart, Lacroix managed to put out season after season of popular clothing. Bright colors, luxuriance, and perfection made Lacroix and Picart popular designers of the time. Later, Lacroix would gain the award for "most influential designer" by the CFDA for foreign designer in January 1987. In 1994, Lacroix launched his Bazar line. His collections during the times of 1994 were based on old culture and folklore, as well as fables and the past. In 1995, he launched a towel line which contained a fashion and lifestyle side, which represent how the two interwine ("two sides of the same coin"). In 1996, he launced a Jeans line. He included past traditions from all around the world, continuing the line with even more on ethnic arts. In 1997, the Art de la Table line was launched by him in partnership with Christofle. A licensing agreement was also reached in this year with Pronuptia in which he could launch his Christian Lacroix Mariage line. In 1999, he launced his first line of floral perfumes, and in 2000 he finished a line of novelty accessories which included semi-precious jewelry. In 2001, Lacroix also launced a children's line and in 2002, he launched a perfume, Bazar, created by Bertrand Duchaufour, Jean-Claude Ellena and Emilie Copperman. In 2004, Lacroix launced a lingerie for women line, as well as a menswear line. He is known for his theatrical style which came from his work while in the theatre. This usually shows up with his use of colour in the collections he designs. Along with this, he is also known for his 'le pouf' gown (featuring the ball skirt), as well as closing all his haute couture fashion shows with a model dressed up as a bride. In October 2002 after the presentation of his spring/summer 2003 collection, Lacroix resigned from the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by Bernard Arnault, Chairman of LVMH. He served as the Creative Director for the Italian fashion house Emilio Pucci from 2002-2005. He left on agreeable terms as he and the house believed that since he had other pursuits, it would be unfair to the house to not put in the energy required for future collections along with his other work. Christian Lacroix has designed many dresses for Hollywood stars; among them, he is responsible for designing the wedding dress of Grammy award winning Christina Aguilera and was, in the 1990s, famed as being a favourite designer of "Edina Monsoon" in the hit UK sitcom Absolutely Fabulous (for which the house drew dubious credit). He has also been the designer of the new uniform of Air France staff and crew in 2004 and pyjamas signed by him are handed out to passengers travelling on Air France First Class (L'Espace Premier). Today, Lacroix has 60 points of sale within France (department stores included). Around the world, Lacroix has 1,000 total points of sale.