Jean Paul Gaultier – Designer Information

Jean Paul Gaultier designs represent innovation and rebellion at its best

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier is a French fashion designer known for his innovative and rebellious designs, and his time as head designer at Hermes.


Early Life

  • Jean Paul Gaultier was born on the 24 April 1952 in Arcueil, France.
  • He was interested in fashion from a young age but never received formal schooling in pattern design or.
  • At the age of 18, while still at school, he joined the house of Pierre Cardin – working there as an assistant.
  • His time at Cardin was brief, and he decided to move on to Jacques Esterel, where he learnt much of what would become his trademark style
  • He then moved to the haute couture fashion house Jean Patou.
  • In 1974, he returned to Cardin and was sent to Philippines to represent the company over there.



  • In 1976, Jean Paul Gaultier founded his own fashion label, and presented his first runway show in Paris.
  • He had established his company with the help of his partner, Francis Menuge, the two together built the Jean Paul Gaultier brand.
  • Gaultier, however later received financial backing from Kashiyama, a Japanesse clothing company.
  • The designer became known as the bad boy of the fashion industry.
  • He would live to contest the notion of gender separation in fashion, and was inspired by street style and punk rock.
  • In 1983, he put undergarments in the front line, and debuted his corsets dresses line.
  • Two years later, in 1983, he introduced his skirts for men. This was another example of the designer challenging gender stereotypes.
  • His runway shows were the talk of the town, having a reputation of being extravagant spectacles.
  • In 1990, his partner Francis Menuge sadly passed away.
  • Jean Paul Gaultier didn’t let this get in the way of his fashion career. In the same year, he designed one of his most iconic looks for Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour.
  • The look was a coned-shaped bra, under a men’s style inspired suit.
  • This style brought the Jean Paul Gaultier brand to new heights and attracted the attention of the best in the fashion industry.
  • A couple years later, he released his first perfume range.
  • He then went into the broadcasting industry and hosted his own television show, called Eurotrash.
  • He also designed costumes for films such as The Lost City Children and the Fifth Element.
  • In 1997, he debuted his haute couture collection.
  • In 1999, he went into a partnership with French fashion house Hermes
  • Hermes purchased a 45% stake in the designer’s company.
  • He was appointed as artistic director of Herme’s women’s wear.
  • Jean Paul Gaultier continued expanding his brand by launching perfumes, a children’s clothing collection, in addition to designing lines for his own label.
  • He continued his work behind the scenes, designing costumes for stage and film.
  • Gaultier’s designs were appearing on multiple red carpets, on the whose-who of the entertainment industry.
  • In 2011, he parted ways with Hermes.
  • In 2012, he was appointed creative director for Diet Coke.
  • Puig, a Spanish perfume company, then purchased 60% of his company.
  • Jean Paul Gaultier was very happy with this move, as he believed that Puig really understood the Gaultier brand.



Jean Paul Gaultier is best known for his innovative and unique designs, his designs have a certain rebel element to them, which is why the designer himself his referred to as the bad boy of the fashion industry. Gautier is known for his creation of the conical bras, which Madonna had worn on her Blond Ambition tour.

Present Day

  • Today the Jean Paul Gaultier brand is owned by the designer himself and Puig.
  • He continues to enjoy designing for his stores, runways, broadway, film and for celebrities.
  • Jean Paul Gaultier called the bad boy of the fashion industry, renowned for challenging the standard view of fashion, and shows us that true fashion has no boundaries.



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