The name of Christian Dior is now synonymous with style, elegance and class. He was born in 1905 to a French family that traced its ancestry to the time of William the Conqueror in the 11th century.
Dior had an artistic and entrepreneurial flair, he sold artwork in a gallery that he ran in the late1920s, the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s meant that the gallery had to close.
Dior found work with the fashion designer Robert Piguet in 1937 and worked alongside a young Pierre Balmain who would go on to establish the fashion house Balmain in 1946. Dior also launched his eponymous label in December of 1946 with the financial backing of wealthy entrepreneur Marcel Boussac.
Dior introduced new styles, cuts and shapes to the designs for his label, and another thing that added to the success of the label was the introduction of parfum fragrances in 1947; this addition added a significant amount to the business.
In 1949 the increased success led to an expansion of a Dior retail store in New York, and the following year Dior agreed to license the name for use on products.
The popularity of the Dior brand grew exponentially and in 1957 he graced the cover of TIME magazine and within a few months of that cover Christian Dior would die of a heart attack.
The Dior Company went through a difficult period after the death of Dior and lost its talented young designer Yves Saint Laurent in 1960 and he was replaced by Marc Bohan as the lead designer of the label.
The company almost went into bankruptcy as the company that provided the funding the Boussac Group filed for bankruptcy. The entrepreneur Bernard Arnault purchased the company in 1984 for a discounted price. The financial stability that Arnault brought allowed Dior to grow and expand into a multi-billion pound corporation and now employs over 80,000 people.
Christian Dior The Man Behind the Myth