Dior VintageChristian Dior was Born in the seaside town of Granville on the coast of Normandy in 1905. When he turned five years old, he moved with his family to Paris.. At the end of his service in 1942, he began working for couturier Lucien Long, where he and Pierre Balmain were the primary designers. During the war, Lelong - like other French ateliers including Jeanne Lanvin and Nina Ricci - dressed the wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators as a way of preserving the fashion industry throughout the conflict for both economic and artistic reasons.
At the same time, Dior's younger sister Catherine joined the French Resistance, resulting in her capture by the Gestapo and subsequent imprisonment at the Ravensbrück concentration camp. She survived and was liberated in 1945. In 1947, Dior named his debut fragrance Miss Dior as a tribute to her. He founded the house of Christian Dior on December 16, 1946 at 30 Avenue Montaigne Paris, backed by Marcel Boussac, a cotton-fabric magnate. Officially, the house of Dior considers 1947 to be the year of conception as that is when Dior showed his first collection.
On February 12, 1947, Dior showed his debut collection, presenting the 90 different looks. Named "Corolle" and "Huit", the lines were quickly christened the "New Look", a phrase coined by US Harper's Bazaar magazine editor Carmel Snow. The opulence of his designs contrasted with the grim post-war reality of Europe, and helped re-establish Paris as the joyful fashion capital it had once been. The house was inundated with orders and world-famous stars such as Rita Hayworth and Margot Fonteyn bought and wore pieces, raising Dior's profile significantly. Dior established a luxury ready-to-wear house on the corner of 5th Avenue and 57th Street in New York in November 1948. It was the first of its kind. In the same year, he launched Dior Parfums - with Miss Dior being the first fragrance to launch, and Diorama launching the following year.
In 1949, Dior was the first couturier to arrange licensed production of his designs. In 1955, the 19-year-old Yves Saint Laurent became Dior's design assistant. Christian Dior later met with Yves Saint Laurent's mother, Lucienne Mathieu-Saint Laurent, in 1957 to tell her that he had chosen Saint Laurent to succeed him at Dior. She said at the time she had been confused by the remark, as Dior was only 52 at the time. Shortly after his meeting with Saint Laurent's mother, Christian Dior suffered a fatal heart attack on October 24, 1957, leaving the house in disarray.
In an attempt to stabilise the label, Jacques Rouët appointed the then-21-year-old Yves Saint-Laurent as artistic director. Saint Laurent remained in the position until he was conscripted into the army, during which time he was dismissed from Dior by Rouët and replaced by Marc Bohan. Bohan proved very successful as Saint Laurent's replacement, defining a new era and new silhouette for Dior, the Slim Look, a more modern and svelte version of Dior's iconic shape.
In 1997, Arnault appointed British designer John Galliano to replace Marc Bohan at the creative helm. "Galliano has a creative talent very close to that of Christian Dior. He has the same extraordinary mixture of romanticism, feminism and modernity that symbolised Monsieur Dior. In all of his creations - his suits, his dresses - one finds similarities to the Dior style," said Arnault of Galliano. Galliano was creative director of Christian Dior until March 2011, when he was dismissed. Galliano's former-design director Bill Gayten headed up the house until April 9 2012 when it was announced, after more than a year of rumour and speculation, that Raf Simons had taken over as 'artistic director' at the house. Today in 2017, Grazia-Chiuri is the new Dior’s artistic director.