Introduction to the Fashion Industry; Jean Paul Gaultier

Running head: Designer Report

  Designer Report:

Jean Paul Gaultier

City University of New York: New York City College of Technology

MINJI KIM

December 7, 2017

The Designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s background

Jean-Paul Gaultier is a French haute couture and prêt-à-porter fashion designer and born 24 April 1952 in Arcueil, Val- de Marne, France. Gaultier was the creative director of Hermès from 2003 to 2011. Diet Coke appointed Gaultier as its new creative director in 2012. Gaultier co-presented the television series Eurotrash with Antoine de Caunes.

     In his youth, he grew up within his parents who had nothing to do with fashion. His talent to fashion world was inspired and introduced by his maternal grandmother, in particular from her closet as he spent much of his childhood with his grandmother. He never received formal training as a designer. Instead, at thirteen years old, he designed for his grandmother and mother and he loved fashion magazines. He began to develop his own collections and then started sending sketches to famous couture stylists and landed a job with Pierre Cardin as an assistant in 1970 at eighteen years old. It was his first experience with formal design training.

     In 1970, he moved to Jean Patou from Pierre Cardin and around this time Gaultier was influenced by works of Yves Saint Raurant and then he eventually returned to Cardin, before working as a designer in the Philippines. In 1976, Gaultier established his own fashion label and had his first runway show in Paris. He opened his business with his significant assistance, Francis Menuge and Gaultier received later financial backing from Kashiyama, a Japanese closing company.

The Designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s Targets

Basically, when he started his own business, he opened his brand in Paris, France where haute couture was born and the haute couture aimed to luxury line. So, when he opened his own brand, his production also had been a luxury-line and his target was middle to high class, very wealthy clients, and celebrities like other famous designers did. For middle and low income classes, his clothes and productions like perfumes were ideal items like other luxury designers’ products. So, in general, women and men with middle and low income, even though they would like to get his luxury production, looked for other cheap and ready-to-wear that was mass produced or similarly designed items to his stuff than the haute couture’s luxury lines because they faced financial issues by economical and social condition, in particular in the United States and Europe. So, to adapt to customers’ psychology and economic issues, Jean Paul Gaultier opened semicouture line that was less expensive than haute couture but more than standard ready-to-wear in his Paris atelier for middle and low income buyers, but at the spring and summer 2015 show he announced that he was closing the line in order to focus on the haute couture as he felt true fulfillment from working on the haute couture that allowed him to express his creativity. Since 2014, his target has been clients with high income again; however, some customers complain that his products’ prices are not worth the quality of his items.

Fabric and Merchandise used and made by Jean Paul Gaultier

Gaultier, the french fashion designer is known as the enfant terrible of French Fashion because he has always challenged standard views of fashion. To make creative clothing and to express his ideas, he uses general or unique fabric and materials like polyester fishnet lining, from kind of this material or other fabric, some customers feel uncomfortable or it even causes few purchasers to have skin problems when they wear the clothing because it does not make any shape for their bodies to them. So, the customers, who dissatisfy his garment mention his clothes’ design and lines are good enough, but the garment’s fabric and materials are not worth its prices.

      His clothing’s fabric and materials are unique and hard to wear in general to public for sure; though, his garment can be unique and even looks beautiful and chic because he uses unique materials to express his ideas including women’s sexuality into his work. For instance, at the haute couture spring and summer 2014 show, he showed a white shirt dress made by fabric like kind of silk and a red long skirt made by polyester fishnet lining with mesh. Gaultier probably expresses flower or women’s passion because a model wears a hair band with white butterflies decoration, a skirt that has a portion with polyester fishnet lining covering the model’s waist to knee and under this portion that is made by mesh spreads out from the model’s knee to outside magnificently. The design describes flower, but the colors, especially red color he used reflect women’s passion too. To express designer’s ideas, combination of these fabric, materials, design, and colors also work very well, in particular in his fashion shows. But, not only using unique fabric and materials for the shows, but he also uses general fabric that is manufactured by factories so that he can make clothing to sell it to buyers.

      Most sold clothes in the market are made by leather, wool, silk, cotton, polyester and more. These fabric are for making available clothing to wear for buyers. For instance, for buyers who want clothing keeping stylish as well as comfortable in their daily lives, he has made daily clothing with these fabric too. One of his most popular clothes is Marin t-shirt and one hundred percentage of cotton is used to make this t-shirt. Because the t-shirt is made by cotton, it looks more simple, comfortable, and cosy, but stylish too. If it is made by other fabric like nylon, it’s still fine, but design and line of the t-shirt will be different for sure and it won’t look stylish. So, fabric has a very significant role in producing of clothes and accessories because it shows the designer’s ideas and production’s style and texture. This important fabric and the merchandise are generally produced from Europe like France and Italy as well as other countries like Colombia and China because both of artisans’ skills and many labors’ contribution are required to satisfy customers’ needs and perception on his productions as the luxury brand. Also, manufacturing fabric in other cheap labors’ countries is more cheaper and easier. By these many efforts and processes, productions are made. To sell items produced through many steps, the designer makes plans.

The Designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s Marketing Strategy

To introduce and sell his productions to buyers, what he has focused on is that listening carefully what the customers want and say and how the market is changed. To adapt to a new flux of the fashion market, Gaultier collaborated the French “Buzz marketing” that emailed everybody his product advertising. By buzz marketing, the brand image and products among public are getting better and familiar to them as customers who have used the brand’s products tell others or write their evaluation on their blogs or social media about the products positively and it makes others who never try the brand’s products attempt to use it. But, buzz marketing is not enough to promote his items. So, Gaultier works with celebrities to show public his talents and his valuable products too.

      In general, public admires his or her favorite celebrities and he or she looks for what his or her celebrities wear and which brands they prefer to be the same as celebrities and then public purchases the same items that his or her celebrities wear on their movies or TV shows. For instance, Gaultier worked with Madonna before and he produced sculptured costumes for Madonna during the nineties, starting with her infamous cone bra for her 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour, and designed the wardrobe for her 2006 Confessions Tour. Before working with Madonna, he had trouble in losing his brand value among customers and in fashion market because of his partner’s death. However, working with Madonna was a turning point for both of them because the corset with cone bra produced by Gaultier became her trademark and after working with Madonna Gaultier also could have his value as a fashion design again and it led to his brand be on the top again. After working with Madonna, although he earned his value again, there was a problem that his customers were mainly women. He needed to attract men as his customers. So, he launched prestige perfume line not only for women, but especially for men and it was successful. The prestige perfume is sold at his stores and department stores like Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Nordstrom now. Because of his marketing and efforts like collaboration with celebrities or agencies, his items could be sold and his brand and his value as a fashion designer could be on the top too. Comparing to his achievement, these factors are not enough to describe who he is and what and how he does, though.

The Designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s Achievement: Who He Is

Gaultier is an important designer as he always tries new style and new ones against standard ones by other fashion designers who prefer making standard line to satisfy customers’ needs. If there is designers who want to stay safe to make money, then fashion industry cannot be improved. In this point, what Gaultier has done so far is significant. If so, what things made him get interested in unusual style. 

      When he started fashion designer as the job, what he felt was French women’s clothes were too conservative and normal. He wanted to break this down. So, he tried to challenge against public’s preference which was normal. What he did was he began making his work based on street wear, focusing on popular culture, whereas he also made very formal style that was unusual for his haute couture at the same time. From this time and from these works, he started to earn his fame as the bad boy of French Fashion.

      He felt too standard not only from clothing, but from models who worked for fashion shows he also felt because all the models were too professional and skinny. So, what he did was that brings normal and fat women from the street and made them walk the stage on one of his fashion shows to break down stereotype that only professional and skinny women can be a model in fashion shows. For these reasons, he is still known as the bad boy in the fashion world and I believe he gives nice motivations to many young fashion designers who will lead next fashion industry. So, a fashion designer like him must exist to make a better fashion industry.

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