The Story Of Jean Paul Gaultier

.The Story of Jean Paul Gaultier

“You see, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I became fashion designer. So I think that everything is possible” Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier is a world-renowned French fashion designer best known for his avant-garde and haute couture designs. He redefined traditional Parisian elegance.

Jean-Paul Gaultier was born in 1952 in the Paris suburb of Arcueil. His grandmother introduced him to the world of fashion, but he never received formal training as a designer. In 1965, at the age of 13, Jean Paul designed a collection for his mother and grandmother. In 1967 he created a jacket with a book-bag enclosure.

In the time period 1969-1970 he started to send sketches to famous couture stylists in fashion industry. Pierre Cardin was impressed by his talent and hired him as an assistant in 1970. He was working there after school lessons, which lead him to fail his school exams. Afterwards he worked with Jacques Esterel in 1971 and later with Jean Patou. In 1974 he returned to Pierre Cardin and was sent to Milan to represent the company there.


In 1976 he released his first individual collection. The French magazine, Mode Internationale, published a collection of Gaultiers sketches. Gaultier soon became known as “l’enfant terrible” of fashion because of his penchant for challenging the then-standard views of fashion; reworking them and infusing ideas of his own.

In 1980’s Francis Menuge, Gaultier’s business partner and life partner died due to AIDS related causes.

In 1985, Gaultier introduced the man skirt. Gaultier also fathers the trend of wearing intimates on the outside. The same year he opened his first boutique in Paris. In 1987 Gaultier became the winner of the French Designer of the Year Award. In 1988 Gaultier released a dance single called “How to do that”, but he still kept fashion as his number one priority and launched an affordable sportswear line called Junior Gaultier.

In 1990 Gaultier designed costumes for pop Queen, Madonna, for her Blond Ambition tour. The conical bras and basques that he created for her now ranked among some of the most iconic designs in the history. Gaultier has since said he had no idea that they would become so important, “I was a fan of Madonna’s so I was pleased to collaborate with her for that reason – not because it would be good for my career,” he told The Telegraph (2010). Later In 2006 he designed stage costumes again for Madonna for her Confessions tour. He also joined forces with British film director Peter Greenway and designed the wardrobe for his film The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Love. This film proved to be both a design challenge as well as a victory as the wardrobes were created so that each time the characters moved from set to set the colors of their garments changed. For this film, Gaultier was nominated by European Film for Best Production Designer. In January 1992, he published a largely pictorial biography called “A nous deux la mode”. The same year he introduced Gaultier Jeans. The following year he launched his signature scent in a glass bottle shaped like a corseted figure. In 1993, Gaultier became a co-presenter on television show Eurotrash, a magazine-format show which focused on the weird and wonderful from around the world. In 1995 Gaultier was awarded the Stockholm Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievment Award. In 1996 Gaultier was nominated for Cesar’s Award for Best Costume Design and The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films for Best Costumes for the film The City of Lost Children.


In addition to being a fashion designer, Jean-Paul Gaultier is known for a popular line of perfumes. His first fragrance, Classique, a women’s floral-oriental, was introduced in 1993, followed by Le Mâle for men two years later. Both were highly successful. His third fragrance, the women’s fragrance Fragile, was introduced in 2000; however, it is now in limited distribution due to poor sales. In 2005, the unisex “fragrance for humanity” Gaultier was launched. Most recently, Jean-Paul Gaultier’s latest men’s fragrance, Fleur du Mâle, was launched in April 2007.

In 1997 he would debut his first couture collection. His couture show caused quite a buzz in more than one way. He was one of the only couture designers at the time to design couture for men, and his men’s couture collection included corsets. Entering the film world once again, Gaultier designed the futuristic looks in the thriller, The Fifth Element. In 1998 the film industry continued to recognize Gaultier’s hand in wardrobe design and he got his second nod from Cesar’s Awards and was nominated for Best Costume Design for the film, The Fifth Element.

In 1999 French fashion house, Hermes purchased 35% of the Jean Paul Gaultier Company. Gaultier described this deal as “a dream marriage”. In 2003, Gaultier succeeded Martin Margiela as the head designer at Hermès, and went on to debut his first haute-couture collection for autumn/winter 2004-05. In 2008 Gaultier designed haute couture costumes for pop star Kylie Minogues’ much anticipated tour, Kyliex2008. In 2010 in an attempt to bring his champagne taste to the masses, Gaultier designed a line or Target. It was announced in March 2010 that he would receive an Inspiration Award for his lifetime contribution to men’s fashion and the fight against AIDS. He collected the prize at the AmfAR awards in New York on June 3. In 2011 Jean Paul resigned from the French house, Hermes, and continued to design for his own label.  In July 2011 he launched his first-ever swimwear collection in collaboration with La Perla. In March 2012 Gaultier was appointed Diet Coke’s new creative director. His role involved providing creative input into company’s advertising campaigns, retail events and new online projects, as well as designing limited-edition bottles. He followed in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld, Matthew Williamson, Gianfranco Ferre, Marni and Roberto Cavalli who had also created new bottle designs for Diet Coke.

Jean-Paul Gaultier’s strong personality and his multifaceted universe have for decades influenced the worlds of both fashion and street clothes. He has enabled people to think about the place of clothing in contemporary society. Breaking the last taboos of the late twentieth century, his designs have exalted the theme of androgyny, brought men and women closer, moved to put an end to the prejudice against age, given sublime expression to the encounter between worlds and cultures, and associated memory with the strictly contemporary.