French fashion house Dior is mourning the loss of a legendary talent.
The house has announced that former creative director Marc Bohan has passed away at the age of 97. Responsible for conceptualizing many of the house's most memorable womenswear collections for effectively three decades from 1960 to 1989, Dior's longest-serving couturier leaves behind a definitive legacy.
Mr. Bohan died at his home in Burgundy, France on Sept. 6.
“Marc Bohan was a unique creator dear to the heart of our house, infusing Dior elegance with his free spirit; a man of immense talent who profoundly marked both our history and that of fashion,” said Delphine Arnault, CEO of Dior, in a statement posted on social media.
Born in Paris in 1926, the late designer first studied finance, soon after transitioning toward commitments in various workshops in a move modeled after the career of his mother, who was a milliner.
Mr. Bohan started out assisting such French fashion names as Jean Patou and Robert Piguet before venturing into the world of high fashion independently, catering to an elite clientele globally, from royals including Princess Grace of Monaco to American actresses like Elizabeth Taylor, and many others.
Exiting couture operations in search of better opportunities, Mr. Bohan began work with the maison where he would spend the majority of his career in 1958, filling in the gaps exclusively in the United Kingdom by designing for Christian Dior London, officially ascending into a role as chief designer and artistic director at Dior in 1960.
Upon his promotion, The New York Times reported that Mr. Bohan was “a man of considerable maturity and calm temperament,” in a Sept. 29, 1960 newspaper publication, stating that he was “extremely conscientious in his work.”
Dior is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Marc Bohan, an immense and influential visionary who was Creative Director of our House for nearly three decades. His originality and modernity have never ceased to inspire. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/UfrEsNbhhF
— Dior (@Dior) September 8, 2023
The leader made a name for himself fusing classical French couture silhouettes, adding a sense of playfulness to his pieces.
Mr. Bohan's most well-known contributions include midi skirts, ruffle shirts, pussycat bowed blouses, and suits involving variations such as full-length pants paired with short jackets and long vests.
Innovative categories such as wedding gowns and designer children’s clothing were also introduced during his time with Dior — his daughter Marie-Anne was the first-ever model for Baby Dior.
Mr. Bohan supported the house’s official foray into the perfume market, spearheading the release of Dior’s first men's fragrance Eau Sauvage in 1966. The following year, he aided in the creation of Miss Dior, which evolved into one of the company's bestselling perfume lines for women.
Instances such as these highlight the ways in which the creative director pushed the industry, keeping Dior on the cutting edge while staying true to its roots with timeless styles that are still honored by the brand today (see story).