Christian Dior SE- popularly known as Dior- is a French luxury goods company chaired by Bernard Arnault who also heads LVMH- the world’s largest luxury group. Dior holds a reported 42.36 per cent shares of and 59.01 per cent voting rights within LVMH. The company was founded in 1946 by fashion designer Christian Dior. It currently designs and retails fashion collections, leather goods, accessories, footwear, jewellery, timepieces, fragrance, makeup and skin care while maintaining its tradition as a creator of haute-couture under the Christian Dior Couture division.
Dior has a rich and storied history that dates back to 1946 when Christian Dior founded the company in Paris. Prior to starting a fashion house the twenty-three year old Normandy native and some of his friends opened an art gallery. In 1938 he learnt pattern cutting with Robert Piguet and three years later began working as a fashion designer for Lucien Lelong.
Right from the founding of his Maison in 1946, he transformed his dreams into irresistible creations, seeking to break with the somber war years by elevating pure joy. On 12 February 1947 Dior debuted a collection for Spring–Summer ‘47. The showing was presented in the salon of the company’s headquarters at 30 Avenue Montaigne and went down in fashion history as the “New Look” after the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar- Carmel Snow- exclaimed” “It’s such a new look!”
Vogue praised it as “to a legion of women used to boxy suits and drab skirts, Dior’s ultra-feminine styles were a blissful reminder of better days—and the promise of a return to luxury…” This debut collection brought back the spirit of haute couture in France as it was glamorous and young. Overall the collection showcased feminine designs- in contrast to the popular fashions of wartime- with full skirts, tight waists and soft shoulders. Although… Dior retained some of masculine aspects as it continued to hold popularity through the early Forties.
His visionary spirit celebrated and enchanted women the world over. In only ten years, Monsieur Dior revolutionised the conventions of elegance and femininity, designing collections infused with dreams. Over the years, Dior continued to innovate and expand the fashion brand, launching new product lines such as fragrances and cosmetics. In the Fifties and Sixties, and the company became known for its powerhouse collaborations with artists and designers such as Salvador Dali and Marc Bohan. In 1957 Christian Dior unexpectedly passed away… leaving the company in the hands of his protégé Yves Saint Laurent.
Per Vogue: “he too was an instant success, making waves with his trapeze dress. However Saint Laurent was shortly called up for military service and in 1961 Marc Bohan presented his first collection for the label and began a nearly three-decade reign. He was followed by Gianfranco Ferré who manned the ship for seven years. Despite a promising injection of money and energy in 1984 when French businessman Bernard Arnault bought the fashion house, it remained a sleeping beauty until 1996, when British designer John Galliano was named to the top post.”
Galliano was an instant success… “whipping up fantasies of silk and embroidery that exalted beauty to the extreme… and half showman… sending horses galloping down the runway and dressing models as homeless hobos in newspaper-print frocks,” exclaimed Vogue. “Galliano’s outrageous impulses went too far however in 2011 when he was arrested following an ugly incident in a Paris café where he was alleged to have made anti-Semitic remarks to a couple dining nearby. When a video surfaced of a separate incident Arnault’s company had no choice but terminate the relationship.”
However the spirit of the maison did not waver. Belgian designer Raf Simons made his debut with a couture collection in 2012 which was well appreciated by mainstream media and the global fashion A-list. So his abrupt departure in 2015 shocked the industry. Per The Cut: “Although Simons seldom voiced regret in interviews about the workload at Dior — six shows a year, two involving the extra finesse of haute couture — he was candid about the pressures it put on the creative process…”
In July 2016 Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri took over Dior’s reins. She was the first woman fashion designer in the company’s seventy-year history. In March 2018 Kim Jones was named the men’s artistic director for the house. His first show for Dior featured American artist and designer Brian Donnelly. Thereafter he followed collaborations with Raymond Pettibon, 1017 ALYX 9SM, Yoon Ahn, Hajime Sorayama, Daniel Arsham, Sacai and Shawn Stussy.
On 11 March 2022, 30 Avenue Montaigne opened its doors to Dior’s consumers. The property was closed for two years for a renovation led by architect Peter Marino. Historically, 30 Avenue Montaigne is the place where Christian Dior showcased his first collection. In January 2023 it was announced Delphine Arnault would assume the role of chairperson and CEO.
In the context of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, Dior took several measures. Parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton issued a statement that it would “temporarily close stores in Russia and pause all commercial activities.” Today Dior- as part of the larger LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton conglomerate – continues to be one of the world’s leading luxury fashion brands worldwide. Despite the challenges and uncertainties that come with the fashion industry.. Dior has remained true to its heritage and vision… producing exceptional products that are synonymous with luxury and elegance.
The mission of Christian Dior is to leave a legacy of fashion and beauty, crafting the future with agility, offering the best of fashion and beauty in terms of quality, efficacy, safety, sincerity and responsibility, and sharing the dream with customers around the world.
Dior’s vision is to epitomize the pinnacle of luxury and lifestyle, offering customers an unparalleled and emotionally resonant experience. With a steadfast commitment to creativity, innovation, and excellence, the luxury brand endeavors to craft and present products and services of the utmost quality. Dior’s aspiration is to redefine luxury through its dedication to pushing the boundaries of fashion and elegance, aiming to deliver an extraordinary and lasting impact on the world of high-end style and personal expression.
Dior is a luxury fashion and beauty company that offers a wide range of products and services. The company’s products are known for their quality, sophistication and innovation and are available in retail stores, online and through authorized distributors. The luxury brand offers a range of women’s and men’s apparel, accessories and footwear that are designed to embody the essence of Parisian elegance and style. The luxury brand is also well-known for its fragrances that are crafted with the same level of attention to detail as its fashion products and are designed to evoke a feel of luxury and sophistication. Dior also offers a range of cosmetics and skincare products. In addition to its core products, Dior offers a range of services and experiences like personal styling services, allowing customers to work with a dedicated stylist to create a custom look or wardrobe.
Maria Grazia Chiuri (Creative Director, Womenswear)
Bernard Arnault (Chairman)
Kim Jones (Creative Director, Menswear)
Antoine Arnault ( CEO & Vice-Chairman)
Delphine Arnault (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Christian Dior Couture)
Florian Ollivier (Chief Financial Officer )
Maria Luisa Loro Piana (Director)
Nicolas Bazire (Development and Acquisitions of LVMH)
Delphine Arnault (CEO)
Dior was awarded the French Legion of Honor for its contribution to the textile industry and fashion craftsmanship. Additionally, Dior has received the Dé d’Or award twice a year in France for haute couture and Maria Grazia Chiuri was recently honored with FIT’s Couture Council Award for her contribution to fashion and haute couture.