Asia W

Jean Paul Gaultier was born in 1952 in Arcueil, France. He grew up in the suburb of Paris and showed immense passion for fashion. He was inspired by clothing designs that he continually saw on television and in various fashion magazines like Elle. At the beginnings of his artistic endeavors, he emerged as a prodigy and by the age of 13, he had already developed a clothing collection for his mother and grandmother. By the age of 18, he had already begun an apprenticeship in the house of Pierre Cardin, a Parisian designer. He had a one year stint with Cardin and successively apprenticed with various other renowned designers before launching his own label and debuting his first ever collection of women fashion in 1976.

One of his critical turning points was while he was feeding his cat where as he was emptying the can of the cat food, he was mesmerized by the attractiveness of the can and concluded that cutting off the top and bottom of the can, the remaining part would have an intriguing reflection to a traditional African bracelet. He used this and a few other uncelebrated kitchen items like steel wool pads and mesh tea balls to craft designs that have had a lasting impact on the fashion industry.

His ascend in the fashion industry began after setting up his own fashion shop in 1982. Since he had established women’s fashion in 1976, he created men’s collection in 1984 and in 1986, he launched his first boutique in Paris. He published his autobiography which was largely pictorial in 1990 with inscription, “Fashion, Here We Come.” His product line expanded to include perfumes in 1993. The showing of his first haute couture collection in 1997 secured him a monumental place in the fashion industry.

Supported by the Hermes fashion house based in Paris, he was able to launch boutiques in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. He became the official designer of Hermes in 2003 and held the position until 2011. After a 50 year successful career in the fashion industry, Jean-Paul has retired, announcing his retirement on Instagram on January 17. He has been one of the most innovative designers in the history of fashion and popular for his lingerie-inspired looks and corset designs.

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