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Jean-Paul Gaultier is a French designer known for his influential designs, especially the creation of Madonna’s infamous conical bras for her 1990 Blond Ambition tour.
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She appeared on stage wearing a cone-shaped bra under a men's style suit with strategic slashes in the front. The cone bra, which seemed to be a fusion of antique and futuristic lingerie, earned Gaultier new levels of attention from the fashion world.
A few years later,
Gaultier launched his first perfume and hosted his own television show Eurotrash. He also used his great imagination to design costumes for such films as The City of Lost Children and The Fifth Element starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich. In 1997, Gaultier launched his first couture line.
If not a young rebel any longer, Gaultier remains one of fashion's most innovative and creative designers. He partnered with the French fashion house Hermés in 1999, selling it a 35 percent stake in his business (which later grew to 45 percent). During his time with Hermés, Gaultier also served as the artistic director of the company's women's wear line in addition to designing his own clothes.
Gaultier continues to expand his business in new directions, adding several new fragrances and launching a children's clothing line. He has also become a favorite for many celebrities, including Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, and Nicole Kidman. Kidman wore one of his dresses to accept the Best Actress honors at the 2003 Academy Awards. Cotillard dressed in Gaultier for her Oscar win in 2008 as well. Continuing to work behind the scenes, Gaultier has created more designs for stage and film. He created the costumes for Kylie Minogue's X Tour in 2008 and for filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar's Bad Education (2004) and The Skin I Live In (2011).
Also in 2011, Gaultier ended his relationship with Hermés. Puig, a Spanish perfume and fashion giant, bought a 60 percent stake in his company in May. He told WWD that he was "thrilled" with the sale. "They are buying Gaultier for Gaultier, not to turn it into something else."
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