Remembering the life of Thierry Mugler

Ava Hitter, Fashion Reporter

The recent death of the much extolled French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler on Jan. 23, has left a hole in the hearts of the fashion community. A visionary who shaped haute-couture and the fashion industry, his avant-garde and theatrical designs often utilized vinyl, latex, leather, metal, and fur to create innovative clothes that have been worn and praised throughout the world, clothing for the likes Demi Moore in  “Indecent Proposals,” and for Beyoncé’s “I am…” tour.  Models and celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Naomi Cambell, and Kim Kardashian are just a few among many that have worn his ensembles. 

Born in Strasbourg, France in 1948, he studied ballet, becoming a member of the National Rhine Opera at the age of 14. After formally studying interior design at The Strasbourg School of Decorative Arts and then moving to Paris, he worked for different fashion brands before designing his own collection. He opened his first boutique in 1978, and through the 1980s cemented his name as one of the biggest and most popular fashion designers, bringing in loyal customers from the rich and famous. In 1992 he created his first haute couture collection, populated by a range of inclusive models. By 2003 he stepped down from his brand but continued to design his architectural ensembles. In 2019 he stepped out of retirement to dress Kim Kardashian for the Met Gala, in her famous “wet dress” look, which was his first design for his fashion house in 20 years.

His designs, his imagination, and his innovation have rightly led to his being one of the most praised and sought-after designers in the modern-day. Inspiring and influencing new generations of fashion designers after him, his work and vision deserve to be celebrated, and his life remembered after his death.