“If the flame of French creativity and savoir-faire that he patiently and continuously nurtured burns brightly around the world today, it’s largely thanks to him.”
That’s how Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, paid tribute to Marc Bohan, the longest serving designer at the house Christian Dior established in 1947 and made a global beacon of elegance and glamor.
“For nearly 30 years, he watched with infinite respect over the immense creative legacy left by Christian Dior, which he was able to interpret in both his haute couture and ready-to-wear lines,” Arnault said. “The ateliers of the maison Dior owe him a huge debt of gratitude for having perceived, in times when it was no longer obvious, the inexhaustible wealth of their artisanal heritage and exceptional techniques.”
Delphine Arnault, chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture, called Bohan “a man of immense talent who profoundly marked both our history and that of fashion.”
She added that he was “a unique creator dear to the heart of our house” who infused Dior elegance “with his free spirit.”
Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior’s current artistic director of women’s collections, and Kim Jones, artistic director of men’s collection, have both referenced Bohan’s rich design canon.
“My adolescence and youth were accompanied by the creations of Marc Bohan for Dior,” Chiuri said. “He was a great innovator who succeeded in infusing a charismatic house such as Dior with all the vitality of the ’60s, fully reflecting the spirit of the times.”
She credited him with creating, via shapes, colors and attitude, “a new way of experiencing fashion and interpreting the body through clothes.”
“When I arrived at Dior, I studied his work a lot and he inspired many collections, including one with feminist artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who was one of his great friends,” she added.
“Marc Bohan’s work at Dior is a huge source of surprise and inspiration for what we do,” Jones agreed. “There is always something new to discover whilst researching his work.”
Victoire de Castellane, artistic director of Dior Joaillerie since 1998, said when she was 16, she regularly borrowed Dior creations by Bohan. “They were my first ballgowns, my first couture memories,” she said. “His contemporary vision has changed the way we wear clothes, the way we look at fashion and style.”
“He was a good friend and a great designer…his aesthetic was perfect for Dior! I remember the vacations with him and Philippe [Guibourge] in Saint-Tropez as moments of great fun,” said Valentino Garavani.
Dior’s beauty executives also lamented Bohan’s passing.
Peter Philips, creative and image director of Parfums Christian Dior, said the Frenchman “guided the house of Dior with creativity and elegance through a constantly evolving world of fashion. His discreet nature directed the spotlight to the women he lovingly and respectfully dressed.
“His creations reflected not only the era he lived in, but over the years they proved also to be timeless,” he added. “We lost a true master and we’re lucky he left us such a rich inheritance.”
“We must remember how much Dior fragrances owe to his spirit of avant-garde and sophistication, of absolute elegance and Parisian chic recognizable at the very first glance,” noted Francis Kurkdjian, Dior’s perfume creation director. “It was during this period that such iconic and audacious olfactory signatures as Eau Sauvage and Diorella were launched.”