Jean-Paul Gaultier – Past, Present, Future
Jean-Paul Gaultier was born on April 24, 1952 in Arcueil, Val-de-Marne, France. As with most famous fashion designers, Jean-Paul had an inclination towards fashion even at a young age, and even though he did not receive any formal training whatsoever, he was already designing clothes for his mother and grandmother at the age of 13. On his 18th birthday, Jean-Paul landed a job with Pierre Cardin, who was one of the most important personalities in the fashion industry at the time. He worked as his assistant in 1970, while in 1976 he launched his own fashion label and had his first Paris runway show. He did this with the help of his business partner and lover Francis Menuge, who helped him establish his brand and become what he is today.
It wasn’t for long that Gaultier became a highly important figure in the industry, especially since he loved to shock his audience with avant-garde, eccentric alternatives that tore down the stereotypical boundaries between the sexes. In 1990, Francis Menuge died of AIDS, and even though he was deeply hurt by this, Jean-Paul continued along his path towards success and partnered up with none other than Madonna in order to design the clothes for her Blond Ambition Tour. One of the most daring clothing pieces in this new wardrobe involved a cone-shaped bra that attracted a lot of attention in the fashion world.
As the years passed, Gaultier expanded his business and launched his firs perfume, and he also sketched out costumes for films such as “The Fifth Element” or “The City Of Lost Children”. In 1997, Gaultier launched his first couture line, which proved to be a remarkable success.
In recent years, more specifically in 1999, Jean-Paul partnered up with yet another highly respected French brand: Hermes. He worked as the company’s creative director until 2011, when Spanish fashion company Puig bought 60% of his shares in Hermes. Jean-Paul is still one of the world’s most talented and creative fashion designers, which is why he is often asked to design clothes to be worn by some of the most important personalities of our times including Kylie Minogue and Nicole Kidman.