Christian Dior SE, commonly known as Dior (stylized DIOR), is a European multinational luxury fashion house controlled and chaired by French businessman Bernard Arnault, who also heads LVMH. Dior holds 42.36% shares and 59.01% of voting rights within LVMH.
The company was founded in 1946 by French fashion designer Christian Dior, who was originally from Normandy. This brand sells only shoes and clothing that can only be bought in Dior stores. Haute couture is under the Christian Dior Couture division. Delphine Arnault has been the CEO of Christian Dior Couture since 2023.
The House of Dior was established on 16 December 1946 at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. However, the current Dior corporation celebrates „1947” as the opening year.
Dior’s designs from the „New Look” did not only affect the designers in the 1950s, but also more recent designers in the 2000s, including Thom Browne, Miuccia Prada, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen. For the 60th anniversary of the New Look in 2007, John Galliano revisited it for his Spring-Summer collection for Dior.
Expansion from France began by the end of 1949 with the opening of a Christian Dior boutique in New York City. By the end of the year, Dior fashions made up 75% of Paris’s fashion exports and 5% of France’s total export revenue.
In 1951, Dior released his first book, Je Suis Couturier (I am a Couturier) through publishers Editions du Conquistador.
By the mid-1950s, the House of Dior operated a well-respected fashion empire. The first Dior boutique was established in 1954 at 9 Counduit Street.
The death of the head designer left the House of Dior in chaos, and general manager Jacques Rouët considered shutting down operation worldwide.
Operations for Christian Dior drastically changed for the better under Arnault. He repositioned it as the holding company Christian Dior S.A. of the Dior Couture fashion business.
Italian-born Gianfranco Ferré replaced Bohan as head designer in 1989.
The production of Dior Haute Couture was spun off into a subsidiary named Christian Dior Couture in 1995. CEO Arnault appointed British designer John Galliano to replace Gianfranco Ferré in 1997. He even compared Galliano to Christian Dior himself, noting that „Galliano has a creative talent very close to that of Christian Dior. He has the same extraordinary mixture of romanticism, feminism, and modernity that symbolised Monsieur Dior”.
The perfume „J’adore” was released in 1999, and Galliano released the Dior Spring-Summer 2000 ready-to-wear fashion show, debuting the new Saddle bag.
By February 2011, the House of Dior was in scandal after accusations of John Galliano making anti-Semitic remarks made international headlines: the company found itself in a „public relations nightmare.” Belgian designer Raf Simons was announced, on 11 April 2012, as the new artistic director of Christian Dior.
In March 2018, Kim Jones was named the men’s artistic director for the house. Under his management Dior has made several high profile streetwear collaborations.
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