A Brief History of Lanvin
1867 - Jeanne Lanvin is born on January 1st in Paris.
1883 - 1889
The Millinery YearsWhen Jeanne Lanvin was sixteen, she became apprentice milliner for Félix at 15 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, (by the way, that’s now the address for Lanvin Menswear). 15 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is where Jeanne Lanvin designed her first hats. The success of her hat designs led Jeanne Lanvin to launch her own business. “Lanvin (Mademoiselle Jeanne) Modes” designed the hats of the most fashionable Parisiennes at the time. She set up shop as a milliner on the corner of the rue Boissy d’Anglas and the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. This was to be the future address of her fashion house.
1897 - 1908
Marguerite the MuseBirth of her daughter, Marguerite Marie Blanche, would prove to be the most transformative moments of Lanvin’s life. Marguerite inspired her to a wonderful wardrobe for her daughter, which was essentially the birthplace of children’s high fashion. In 1901, Edmond Rostand, author of “Cyrano De Bergerac”, asked Jeanne Lanvin to design his academic attire. Some sixty other suits would follow for immortals such as Paul Valéry, Georges Duhamel or André Maurois. They were the first fruits of Lanvin’s entry into the exclusive world of men’s bespoke tailoring. In 1908, the Children’s Suits department opened, but as Marguerite grew up and became a woman, Lanvin’s work evolved accordingly. Soon after, the Girls' and Women's departments opened.
1909 - 1919
Lanvin Goes GlobalJeanne Lanvin joined the Syndicat de la Couture and entered the exclusive world of French fashion houses. The first Lanvin wedding dress ever was created for the house’s Summer presentation. For the collection, Jeanne Lanvin adopted the dress-shirt line for long, flowing creations for slim figures, delicately belted at the waist. The dress was subtly decorated: sleeves, a bordered skirt and a lace bodice. A white muslin veil, held in place by a crown of leaves, falls gracefully down the back. In 1913, Lanvin expanded again to include a Furs line. Despite the war in 1915, Lanvin participated in the San Francisco World’s Fair. For Jeanne, the success of this exhibition placed her in a much more prominent position in the United States as a sought-after designer.
1920 - 1938
Lanvin EvolvesLanvin Decoration is created with the aid of renowned decorator Armand Albert Rateau, at 15 Faubourg Saint Honoré. In 1923, Lanvin Sport was created, and in 1924, Lanvin Parfums found a home at 4 Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées. In 1925, Lanvin participates in the International Universal Exhibition in Paris where she is Vice-President of the Pavilion of Elegance. At the Grand Palais, she deploys her signature aesthetic with beautiful décor and designs that embody the elegance of French tradition. In 1927, Lanvin launches her legendary fragrance Arpège for her daughter's 30th birthday. In 1938, at the age of 71, Lanvin is presented with the rosette of Officer of the Legion of Honour.
1946 - 1955
Jeanne Lanvin passes away in July of 1946 at the age of 79. Her daughter, Marguerite Marie-Blanche takes over the maison for her mother. Many designers followed and worked on the high fashion and ready-to-wear collections until 1955.
2001 - 2010
The Alber Elbaz YearsAlber Elbaz becomes Lanvin's artistic director. Elbaz is well-regarded in the industry for his love of women, his perfectionist ways, and his limitless imagination – traits that he shared in common with Jeanne Lanvin herself. The presentation of his first show for Fall/Winter 2002 signified to the industry that he is the perfect person to carry her torch. In 2010, H&M announces that Lanvin has been tapped to be its guest designer collaboration for Winter 2010, and Natasha Poly is named the face of the video campaign for the collection.
2010 - 2015
In 2012, Alber Elbaz celebrated his 10-year anniversary as Lanvin's artistic director. More celebrations ensue, as the brand passes its 125-year birthday in 2014. The following year, the “Exhibition Jeanne Lanvin” debuts at the Palais Galliera. This is Paris’ first retrospective dedicated to Jeanne Lanvin and features hundreds of extraordinary looks from the archive.
On October 28, 2015, Alber Elbaz left Lanvin, the maison that he built into a globally recognized and beloved brand after 14 dedicated years at the helm. As the fashion industry awaits the appointment of a new Creative Director, an interim in-house team has been put in place to handle the current output. Many rumors have circulated as to who will land the coveted position, but at this time it remains vacant. The fashion industry still mourns the loss of Elbaz at Lanvin, but hopes for a bright future at the brand regardless.
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