Dior - A Brief History

Dior - A Brief History


Dior is one of the world's most sought-after brands. It is famous for its exquisitely tailored clothing, accessories, and perfumes. Beginning with a single iconoclastic dress in 1947, Christian Dior planted the seed of this world-famous House. 



  • Marcel Boussac was a wealthy French textile magnate
  • Instead of reviving an existing house Phillippe et Gaston he decided to create a new fashion house - Christian Dior in 1947.


The New Look

The first collection by Christian Dior for his eponymous House took place in Paris in 1947. This show featured Christian Dior's now iconic "Bar" gown in 1947, which featured an hourglass silhouette, full skirt, and tiny waist paired with a plunging neckline. This form-fitting silhouette became known as "the new look."The New Look, a style of dress that was very feminine and voluminous, was a reaction against the austerity of the war years. It was also a return to glamour and femininity after years of practicality. 

It became synonymous with luxury fashion houses like Christian Dior who were able to produce luxurious fabrics such as silk taffeta or faille at reasonable prices during postwar Europe's economic boom (1947-1949). A typical gown required between twenty-five yards of fabric (for sheer chiffons) and forty yards (for heavier materials) depending on its size.

Garments of the New Look collection fuelled Dior's expansion into North America after the Second World War, where they were just as if not more commercially successful. 


        Image credit: MoMA


After Christian Dior

Yves Saint Laurent took over the design team at Dior after Christian Dior died in 1957. As a designer, he was very talented in his own right, and his designs for Dior are some of the most iconic in fashion history.


Creative Directors

  • Christian Dior – 1946–1957
  • Yves Saint Laurent – 1957–1960
  • Marc Bohan – 1960–1989
  • Gianfranco Ferré – 1989–1997
  • John Galliano – 1997–2011
  • Hedi Slimane (Men's) 2000-2007
  • Kris Van Assche (Men's) 2007-2018
  • Bill Gaytten – 2011–2012
  • Raf Simons – 2012–2015
  • Serge Ruffieux & Lucie Meier 2015–2016
  • Maria Grazia Chiuri (Women's) 2016-Present 
  • Kim Jones (Men's) 2018-Present  



    The iconic "Trotter" pattern, which is considered to be Dior's monogram, was created in 1967 by French fashion designer Marc Bohan. It is the perfect example of how the house has always used materials that are at once luxurious and unique: The design uses a plaid fabric composed of two contrasting shades of green wool felt. This fabric was originally made for horse blankets and saddle pads and only later made its way into fashion through Bohan’s work with Dior.


     Image credit: Dior


    Pushing Forward

    Since Bernard Arnault's initial stake in Dior was acquired in 1984, the House has been revitalized and continues its expansion in the world of perfume and fashion accessories. Spurred by the leadership of Bernard Arnault and drawing upon the history established by Christian Dior, the House created the now iconic Dior silhouettes. These iconic designs as well as the wildly popular fragrance and cosmetics lines have made Dior into the formidable fashion house it is today. 


    Iconic Designs


    Trotter Monogram 

    • The Dior Trotter Monogram is among the most coveted Monogram designs in fashion. From small leather goods to clothing to luggage, the iconic Dior Trotter Monogram motif is a versatile head-turner that has stood the test of time. 

              Image credit: PurseBlog


    Saddle Bag


    Image credit: Vogue

    • Debuting in 1999 was Dior's iconoclastic Saddle Bag, making its first appearance on the runway in John Galliano's Spring/Summer 2000 collection. A uniquely curvaceous design based on the silhouette of an equestrian saddle, the distinctive bag quickly caught on as the must-have accessory of the naughties. The bag made a famous appearance in the then-popular Sex and the City series on the arm of Sarah Jessica Parker, further spurring demand for the Saddle Bag and cementing its presence in pop culture.

      The Saddle Bag has since returned in a multiplicity of variations in men's and women's collections under the creative direction of Kim Jones and Marai Grazia Chiuri. The Dior Saddle Bag is here to stay.


    Lady Dior Bag

    • The Lady Dior Bag, created in 1995, has varied little from its original square design with rigid top handles and quilted "Cannage" surface. A perennial favourite of fashion enthusiasts, the Lady Dior bag made its first big splash when it was seen in the hand of Princess Diana who chose a classic gold/black calfskin model. Taking cues from Christian Dior's past, the bag incorporated alphabetic charm hardware (previously used by Christian Dior during his tenure) as well as the Cannage quilting, inspired by the Napoleon III chairs present at previous Dior runway shows. These nods to the past reinterpreted in a small, modern handbag made for an icon that will surely be present in the fashion world for many years to come.

    Back to blog