designer spotlight

Designer Spotlight: Christian Dior

Designer Spotlight: Christian Dior

Christian Dior was a French couturier, best known for his eponymous fashion house which is often referred to as just "Dior."

Born in the seaside town of Granville, on the coast of Normandy, in 1905, he was the son of a wealthy fertilizer manufacturer. At age five, he moved with his family to Paris. Although his parents had hopes of him becoming a diplomat, Dior was artistically inclined and began to sell his sketches on the street to make pocket money. Upon leaving school, Dior took over a small art gallery which his father bought for him, where he and...


Designer Spotlight: Coco Chanel

Designer Spotlight: Coco Chanel

Before she changed the face of fashion with her haute couture dresses, sophisticated suits and luxury fragrances, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was a girl from humble beginnings.
Orphaned at a young age, Chanel made a living as a simple seamstress and cabaret performer. She earned the nickname "Coco" after one of the nightly songs she performed for soldiers.

"She was really quite a radical person," says Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and author of Women of Fashion. "She grew up very poor—a kept woman who...