Knees showing, flat boots, all white looks with PVC, let’s take a look at the French fashion brand that embodies the iconic 1960’s look, and that was instrumental in liberating women.
André Courrèges, a feminist and a visionary.
France, 1964. At a time when most Parisian fashion Maisons still carry the bourgeois style of the 50’s, André Courrèges decides to embrace progress with a collection/style made for the strong and militant female youth looking to free herself from masculine tutelage (FYI, it’s only the following year that women will get the right to open a bank account or work without getting their husbands’ approval).
« at first people were shocked by the airplane… women don’t wear pants to the office yet, but they will” – André Courrèges
The MOON GIRL collection, inspired by architecture, sport, and science fiction, will revolutionize the French fashion industry with its geometric shapes, PVC, flat boots, and above all else: its miniskirts <3. At a time when Parisian high fashion was all about black, this collection is all white, putting forth a positive, playful, & joyful outlook on the future, in which women are free and can go conquer the job market.
The Courrèges bomb
Coco Chanel says it’s the “destruction of the woman”, Yves Saint Laurent feels the “creative stimulation”, and Roland Barthes talks about “clothing promoting the explosion of youth, for whom their body is their only asset”. Courrèges is definitely making waves, and continues developing his brand, thus becoming a massive commercial empire.
“You don’t walk through life anymore. You run. You dance. You drive a car. You take a plane, not a train. Clothes must be able to move too”- André Courrèges
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It’s the first French fashion brand to have a perfume, couture, ready-to-wear, and accessories line in an exclusive distribution channel. But the brand also makes cars, scooters, watches, and decorates apartments!
Through all these developments, Courrèges becomes more than just a brand. It is the embodiment of a lifestyle promoting positivity, innovation, & non-conformism, with which people identify. However, André Courrèges’ desire to control all of its brand’s creations will be his demise: the brand fails to hop on the globalization train and slowly disappears from the fashion landscape.
The sleeping beauty
In 2011, two advertising professionals decide to resurrect the French Maison and to remake the iconic tent dresses, jackets, furniture, perfumes, also landing partnerships with famous brands (Evian, Roxy, Estée Lauder, La Redoute).
Unfortunately, in 2018 the brand faces important financial difficulties and gets bought by Artemis. Christina Ahlers is appointed General Manager, and she is soon joined by Yolanda Zobel (Chloé, Jil Sander…) in charge of the artistic direction. Both ACNE alums, they presented their first collection in September 2018. The line called “Future is behind us” focuses on natural fibers, which is better aligned with the tastes of today’s young generation.