Born on May 16, 1951 in Arles, France, under the highly symbolic sign of Taurus.
He spent his childhood between the Camargue beaches and the Alpilles pine forests, amongst the Gallo-Roman ruins and the remnants of the 1944 WWII bombings, attending bullfighting events and theatre or opera festivals, immersed in both Provencal and Gypsy traditions, and enjoying museum paintings and attic books. During his adolescence, he discovered a passion for Oscar Wilde and the Beatles’ England as well as Barcelona and Venice. He later studied Art History at the University of Montpellier. In 1973, he continued his studies in Paris at both the Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre, with the ambition to become a museum curator.
He then met individuals that would influence his destiny : Françoise, his future wife, who introduced him to the secrets of Paris and encouraged him to draw ; Jean-Jacques Picart, a press attaché and advisor to several Designers and Haute Couture Houses, who found him a job at Hermes in 1978, then with Guy Paulin in 1980.
In 1981, he began working at the Jean Patou House, and took up the challenge of Haute Couture, a profession that certain individuals claimed to be on the decline. Season after season, he succeeded in defining the 1980s with their bright colours, extravagance and luxuriance. In 1986, his work was awarded with a first “Golden Thimble”, after which he received the Award for the most influential foreign designer, given by the CFDA in New York in January 1987.
At that time Christian Lacroix met Bernard Arnault, who founded the house of Christian Lacroix, which is located in a private mansion at 73, rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré in Paris. The first collection, in July 1987, highlighted eccentricity in opposition to the minimalism that was then in style. The second collection, in January 1988, was awarded with a “Golden Thimble”.
In October 2002, together with the presentation of the spring-summer 2003 collections and the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Couture House, Christian Lacroix received the insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur from Mr. Bernard Arnault, Chairman of LVMH.
Today, the Christian Lacroix House boasts approximately 52 points of sale (either Christian Lacroix boutiques or sales areas within a department store). Christian Lacroix products are sold in over 1,000 points of sale throughout the world.
In 2008, Christian Lacroix was the guest of honor of the Rencontres d’Arles: a fashion show for the 20 years of the Maison Lacroix took place at the Théâtre Antique. He also presented his work at the Palais de l’Archevêché and in the cloître Saint-Trophime: From Arles to Maison Lacroix. In 2009, Christian Lacroix was a nominator for the Discovery Award of the Rencontres d’Arles, he nominated Véronique Ellena who presented her series Natures mortes, at the Grande Halle.
Portrait of Christian Lacroix: G. Alexandre