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French fashion designer Jean-Louis Scherrer dies in Paris

Jean-Louis Scherrer, Septembre 2009, Deauville.
Jean-Louis Scherrer, Septembre 2009, Deauville. AFP / FRANCOIS GUILLOT

The Couturier Jean-Louis Scherrer, whose famous clients included Jackie Kennedy, died on Thursday morning in Paris at the age of 78, following a long illness.


He had been in hospital for ten months and died in a clinic in the XV arrondissement of Paris.

“Jean-Louis Scherrer was a couturier who was an emblem of the 1980s” said Stéphane Rolland, who worked with Scherrer for ten years. “It was one of the first labels to really thrive at that time. It was huge.”

“What Yves Saint-Laurent represented for the Left Bank was what Jean-Louis Scherrer represented for the Right Bank”, he declared.

A life in dates:

1935: Born, 19 February. Studied at Conservatoire to be professional dancer but an accident put an end to hopes of such a career

1956: Joins Christian Dior after obtaining couture qualifications in Paris. At Dior, Scherrer learns Haute Couture techniques. After Christian Dior dies, joins Yves Saint-Laurent

1962: Scherrer launches his own fashion label and, famously, stages first collection of cocktail dresses in a cellar.

1971: Officially receives coveted “Haute Couture” status and opens first premises in hallowed Avenue Montaigne, the Paris street where the world’s most important Haute Couture labels have their (often “by appointment”) boutiques

Late 1970s: By now Scherrer also has a ready-to-wear label, is hugely successful in Japan.
He diversifies, creating perfumes (Jean-Louis Scherrer, Scherrer 2, Nuits Indiennes), fur wear, and accessories including glasses and shoes.

1990: The Japanese group Seibu buys Scherrer label. Scherrer remains artistic director, until he is sacked after rows about the company’s accounts.

2002: Businessman Alain Duménil bought the Jean-Louis Scherrer label and traded until

2008: when he closed the famous Avenue Montaigne boutique.


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