The Life and Work of French Designer Thierry Mugler

Grace Harte

The death of iconic fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler was announced Sunday, triggering an outpouring of condolences from celebrities and many from the fashion world who remembered the 73-year-old as an icon.

The beginning of Mugler’s career can be traced back to the 70s, when, after moving to Paris from his home of Strasbourg, the young Mugler began designing as a freelancer. Soon after gaining knowledge from his superiors his first collection, Café de Paris, was created and the House of Mugler was born. The brand would go on to gain recognition in the fashion world throughout the following decades as the young designer’s pieces were donned by well-known figures such as Grace Jones, Madonna and David Bowie.

Mugler pioneered a style which was unparalleled by other designers of the time. It embodied camp, with wide shouldered silhouettes and materials such as PVC becoming part of Mugler’s brand. Five years after his first collection, Mugler opened a boutique in Paris, the first of many. The 1980s saw a growth in popularity for the brand as recognition came in the form of celebrities displaying Mugler’s designs on red carpets around the world.

His first haute couture collection followed in the 90s. Witnessing an army of supermodels walking for Mugler on runways worldwide, the designer had become a sensation in the  realms of both fashion and pop-culture. Mugler’s creations from these decades continue to appear on runways to this day. From Cardi B to Lady GaGa, these timeless looks still live on in our era of modern fashion, proving the level of influence that Mugler had in his power to design.

Mugler retired in 2003, leaving his label in the hands of his capable successors. The designer continued to create looks for Beyoncé during her ‘I Am …’ world tour, where over 90 different pieces were produced for the artist. Cirque de Soleil also acquired Mugler’s talent for their sets and costumes, proving that even in retirement, the designer was as popular as ever.

The House of Mugler continues to live on without its creator, undoubtedly inspiring and influencing the next generation of fashion designers long into the future.

By Grace Harte

Image Credit: BBC