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The history of an iconic brand: The House of Dior

Dior, a brand dripping with daring looks, luxury and elegance, was created in 1946 by Christian Dior in Paris, France. Since then, the House of Dior has remained on the frontlines of the fashion industry as a brand that creates revolutionary looks while still preserving refined femininity.

Christian Dior’s runway debut in 1947, with a collection of ready-to-wear haute couture looks, was an instant success and his contrast to the masculine, utilitarian style of the times with his ultra-feminine, form-fitting looks changed the tide of the style wave. So much so, that Dior’s first show started the proprietary name of “The New Look.” Dior then went on to clothe the hottest celebrities of the time along with members of the royal family.

Dior sadly passed away in 1957, and Yves Saint Laurent was named the creative director/head designer. With this, the Dior brand changed to a more unconventional look. Saint Laurent was removed from the position, with Marc Bohan replacing him. Bohan returned the brand to its original identity with the creation of the collection “Miss Dior.” After a successful run, the position of head designer was transitioned to the hands of Gianfranco Ferré in 1989. Ferré also changed the style of the brand, moving towards a "refined, sober and strict” palette. The House of Dior quickly turned into a worldwide, iconic name in fashion, and they opened stores in Hawaii, New York City, Tokyo and Los Angeles in 1989 and 1990.

In 1995, The House of Dior created a bag specifically for Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, who was one of the most admired and fashionable women of the time. The bag was naturally a hit success, and so Dior launched sales of an identical bag naming it the “Lady Dior,” one of the most iconic pieces of leather goods of all time.

By 1997, John Galliano, a designer comparable to Christian Dior himself and one endorsed by Anna Wintour (Editor-In-Chief of Vogue), was given the position to replace Ferré. During his time at The House of Dior, Galliano added a more erotic, provocative influence to the Dior brand. Under his control, the brand released its most recent iconic handbag, the Dior Saddlebag, in the Summer/Spring 2000 show.

In 2011, Galliano was fired due to accusations of anti-semitic comments. Upon his dismissal, Bill Gaytten was chosen to fill his position. Gaytten’s collections were ill-received, and in 2012, Raf Simons, a designer known for his modest, effortless pieces, was appointed as head designer. Simons returned the brand's look to the original feminine, elegant designs of Christian Dior’s first collection. There have been multiple designer changes since then, and currently, Maria Grazia Chiuri holds the position.

The House of Dior is long known for a history of picturesque runway displays, femininity, revolution and romanticism; and today it holds true to that by staying close to its roots with womanly silhouettes while also embracing modernity with hints of grunge. The House of Dior has always and will continue to own a position on the haute couture leaderboard.


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