Famous French fashion designers include Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Pierre Cardin and Rene Lacoste. The men and women of French fashion created revolutionary apparel for men and women in a variety of categories, including active and athletic wear, luxury attire and accessories. These designers influenced fashions in France, Europe and on a global scale during the 1800s and 1900s, and continue to inspire trends today.Â
Although eventually finding prosperity and good fortune, many French designers had humble beginnings, even poverty. Vuitton, for instance, belonged to an average family from the French countryside. Vuitton, born in 1821, began his career making and selling boxes. He moved to Paris at age 13 to expand business opportunities. Vuitton earned a reputation in Paris as a competent and skilled craftsman. He produced trunks and operated packing workshops for the duration of his career, which lasted until his death in 1892.
Vuitton befriended fellow French designer Chanel. Chanel stood out in a world dominated by men as an inspirational designer for women. She produced clothing for women inspired by men's clothing, featuring flattering, simple and affordable styles. Chanel started her career making hats and undergarments for men, then added clothing for women as her financial resources and clothing production capacities permitted.