Fashion designer Marc Bohan, who was artistic director of Dior for an unprecedented three decades, has died, the luxury brand said Friday.
Bohan, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 97, was one of the quieter members of the fashion fraternity, in stark contrast to successors like John Galliano.
But he was a master of the trade who managed to keep the spirit of the label alive after its mid-twentieth century heyday.
Born in Paris on August 22, 1926, Bohan was passionate about drawing and fashion from an early age, encouraged by his mother who was a milliner.
He joined Christian Dior in 1957, responsible for creating collections in London.
His first, “Slim Look”, for spring-summer 1961, celebrated the uninhibited women of the era, with shorter skirts and more suits.
In 1961, he took over as artistic director when Yves Saint Laurent was called up for military service.
Bohan was close to icons of the period like writer Francoise Sagan, artist Niki de Saint Phalle and Empress Farah of Iran, whom he notably dressed for the coronation of the shah in 1967.
Farah’s style also seduced the American First Lady, Jackie Kennedy, who asked her official designer Oleg Cassini to copy Bohan’s Dior look.
He also opened up the label to new audiences with the launch of ready-to-wear lines for women (“Miss Dior”), children (“Baby Dior”) and men (“Dior Monsieur”).
When he quit Dior in 1989, Bohan became artistic director of London house Norman Hartnell, until 1992.
Passionate about opera and theatre, he also created stage costumes, collaborating in particular with Luchino Visconti.
He twice won the “De d’Or” (“Golden Thimble”), the supreme award for a designer, in 1983 and 1988.
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