French designer Manfred Thierry Mugler has died at the age of 73.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday, January 23rd 2022. May his soul Rest in Peace,” said a statement on his official Instagram account.
During his multi-decade career, he worked with the likes of Diana Ross, Tippi Hedren and Demi Moore and, more recently, the designer created outfits for Beyoncé, Cardi B and Kim Kardashian West.
Mugler was one of the first designers to fling open the doors of a fashion show to members of the public, with a mega-event at the Zenith concert venue in 1984. He pushed the boundaries of clothing construction by working with materials like latex, metal and feathers.
When Mugler retired from fashion in 2002, he stepped back from the industry to focus on fragrances and costume design, reverting to his birth name Manfred.
Born in Strasbourg, France, he started his fashion career in London. Late Mugler had respect for Cristóbal Balenciaga and Christian Dior who he described as “Masters in Fashion”. Living in Paris was also a major influence on his career.
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“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but fashion took off for me very quickly in Paris, as soon as I showed my sketches,” he recalled. “Back then, fashion was in full folklore mode. Kenzo was all the rage, so you had Peruvian influences, Indian influences and what have you.
It was all very folkloric, and all I wanted to do was this very pure, Parisian silhouette: the little black suit, the trenchcoat, the black dress, the siren dress. I did the first n**e body-conscious dress. Nobody was doing n**e at that time. My first ready-to-wear line was called Café de Paris. It was all about a very precise, streamlined silhouette, very strongly influenced by dance.”
He officially stopped designing clothing in 2002 but remained in the perfume business. His ready-to-wear brand made a comeback in 2010 as Mugler.
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