Not Only The House Of Gucci Has A Dark Past! Christian Dior's History Might Shock You!
Dior is one of the most famous fashion houses in the world. And while many associates the brand with its outfits, perfumes, and models, what about the designer? Just who was the man that created the company? It all began in 1905, in the coastal town of Granville, in Normandy, Northern France. It is where famous fashion designer Christian Dior was born. He was the son of businessman Maurice and his wife Marie-Madeline and had two brothers and two sisters. His childhood was rather peaceful and the family was not lacking as the patriarch was a successful businessman. But are there any dark secrets revolving around the designer? Are the things in his past that many people aren’t aware of? Read on to find out.
21 January 1905. Legendary fashion designer, Christian Dior, was born in Granville, Manche, France. He was the founder of one of the world’s top fashion houses, called Christian Dior, which is now owned by Groupe Arnault. Dior’s fashion houses are now all around the world. pic.twitter.com/Si2rh2lg7Q— Prof Frank McDonough (@FXMC1957) January 21, 2022
Dior Family Moves To Paris
The Dior family did not last long in the peaceful town of Granville as by the time Christian was 5-years-old they had relocated to the city of love, aka Paris. At the time, the place was at the height of the so-called Belle Epoque and this period of history would greatly influence future decisions in his adult life. Since childhood, the man showed an exquisite talent for drawing and design, especially carnival costumes, but it should be noted that he did not see himself working in the world of fashion. In fact, he aimed to make and pursue a career in diplomacy for which he studied political science, which his family was all for. Though later he realized that he found his happiness in art. But just how did his life progress? Read on to find out.
Starting Out In The Art World
The young Christian ventured into the art world even prior to finishing school as he sold his fashion sketches outside his house for about 10 cents each. It was in 1928 that things changed when he left school and received money from his father to finance a small art gallery. Working in the industry had given him a lot of security and Dior was able to rub shoulders with the biggest names of Paris. In his gallery, he had even sold paintings by Pablo Picasso, among others. In the 30s, the gallery did not garner the results that he wanted and so he was forced to close the gallery. This was a hard time for him in his personal life as well, as his mother had died at the age of 51. During this period Dior’s father also fell victim to the great depression, which led to his bankruptcy.
Venturing Into Flowers
All that had led Christian to start looking for a job which during the great depression was not an easy feat. To help himself he decided to change the place where he lived and it was then that he met a young actor Jean Ozenne and the two men became roommates. It was his new friend that saw the talent in his friend's work and encouraged him to develop it. And so, the young Dior had begun selling his first sketching which would mark the beginning of an era in the fashion world.
Entering The World Of Haute Couture
One of the greatest opportunities that opened the door to Dior in the world of international haute couture was thanks to an investor named Marcel Boussac after he opened his own atelier. On February 12th, 1947, the fashion world was introduced to Corolle, the first collection of Christian Dior. In fact, it went down in the history as a new look. All thanks to the editor of Harper’s Bazaar, who described the show in this way and that was the name that the public and connoisseurs of haute couture adopted for posterity. And while it may have all seemed like a dream for him, real-life stories don’t always have happy endings.
Dior’s Famous Clients
The man was 42-years old at the time, and he was just starting to make his mark in the world’s fashion shows. Soon his fame went beyond the borders of France itself, opening new boutiques in cities such as London and New York City. His client included the most famous women not only from the world of Hollywood but also royalty. Among them was Princess Margaret the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, Marlene Dietrich, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, and Eva Peron.
Though it is worth noting the designer did not limit himself only to creating outfits. The brand has also launched a line of perfumes and cosmetics, which included the iconic Rouge Dior red lipstick, which many had commented had often perfectly matched the creations that the brand was presenting. However as for Christian himself, his story ends prematurely and tragically in the Italian region of Tuscany, Montecatini to be exact. There while on vacation, Dior died suddenly at the age of 52 from a sudden heart attack while playing cards.
The Brand After His Passing
In the years following Christian’s death, his fashion house has survived the years and to this day, remains one of the biggest French companies that continues to set trends to this day. It also had some of the biggest names in the fashion industry that had served as its creative direction such as Yves Saint Laurent, Raf Simmons, Gianfranco Ferre, and John Galliano. Though even years after his passing, new things come out and so what was the dark part in Dior’s life? And did he have ties to the Nazis? Read on.
Designer For The Nazis?
Back in 1942, after Dior left the army, he had started working for Lucien Lelong’s fashion house. There, he and Balmain were the primary designers. As an employee of Lelong, during the duration of World War II, in attempts to preserve the French fashion industry for economic and artistic reasons, Dior and his colleagues would design dresses for the wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. But at the time, so did other fashion houses that have remained in business during the war. Though there was another connection to the Nazis that he had and that was his sister Catherine after whom he named his debut fragrance, Miss Dior.
Catherine Dior WII Hero
In 1941, Catherine had become a member of the Resistance during World War II. Due to her actions, she was arrested by the Nazis, tortured, and shipped off to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she was incarcerated until her liberation in May 1945 by the Soviet soldiers. When she finally made it back to Paris, nearly a year after her capture, the 27-year-old was so emaciated that even her own brother didn’t recognize her. However, she carried on with her life, marrying her lover and fellow resistance member Hervé des Charbonneries, starting a cut-flower business, and cultivating blooms for her brother’s perfumes until she had died in 2008, at the age of 90. She received a Croix de Guerre for her bravery during the war and was praised for her “great valor and admirable spirit”.
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Fascinating story of the bravery of Catherine Dior, sister of Christian, who worked for The French Resistance while woirking for her brother’s company.— Timor O’Seery (@seery_o) March 26, 2021
She was arrested in August 1944 and sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp.
Thankfully she was liberated in April 1945. ? pic.twitter.com/DsFqWkpg8Y