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The End of an Era: Manfred Thierry Mugler

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

Runway Show

Popularly known as Thierry Mugler, Manfred Thierry Mugler was born on December 19, 1948, in Strasbourg, France. Due to his passion for art from the beginning, Mugler was more inclined towards it than school, which is why he started studying classical dance at the age of nine. Within the period of 5 to 6 years, he became a member of Opéra national du Rhin at 14.

He also learned interior design. Mugler began his career in his early twenties by designing clothes for Karim. His passion for design and fashion brought him to Paris, the capital of fashion, at the age of 24. Starting from Parisian boutique, Gudule, at 26 years of age, he started working as a freelance designer and designed amazing clothes for several fashion houses based in Paris, Milan, London, and Barcelona.

In 1973 Mugler created his first personal collection (the style was sophisticated and urban) called "Café de Paris." Fashion editor Melka Tréanton played a vital role in shaping Mugler's career. In 1976, at her request, Mugler exhibited his designs at an event hosted by Shiseido in Tokyo, which was a success.

Mugler opened his first Paris boutique in 1978 at the Place des Victoires. He rapidly became famous, especially for his broad-shouldered designs. Along with that, he launched a fashion collection for men also equally famous.

The period between 1980 and 1990 was the time for Mugler to achieve international recognition for his shapely suits.

Later, he also launched theme-based collections like sci-fi, Africa, a vampire-devil, and aquatic themes.

By 1992, he completed his first haute couture collection at the request of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

Mugler's creations made their way from the runway and closets of fashion industry insiders and into the hands of celebrities of all crafts. Many of his clientele included Michael Jackson, Madonna, Grace Jones, David Bowie, Diana Ross and many more.

Here, Demi Moore in the 1993 movie Indecent Proposal, wearing Mugler the dress was eventually dubbed “the most famous dress of the 1990s”

After seeing a Mugler fashion show in 1992, producer Jeff Beasley devised the concept for George Michael's "Too Funky" music video. The video was then directed by Mugler and Michael, it was a runway show of iconic supermodels' such as Linda Evangelista and Tyra Banks. The video also included 90s Transgender model Connie Fleming as both Michael and Mugler were champions in the LGBT community.

More recently, his clientele include action drawing artist such Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Kim Kardashian and many more. The Harley Davidson corset is considered the most iconic piece Mugler created for his spring/summer 1992 collection. In 2009 with Mr. Pearl, a renowned corset maker, Mugler created a theatrical piece for Beyoncé’s ‘I Am…’ world tour.

Photography Career

In 1988 with the name “Thierry Mugler: Photographer” he published his first photography book. Later in 1999, Fashion Fetish Fantasy, a monograph, was also published. Director. He not only designed costumes for concerts, operas, musical comedies, and the theatre but also directed short, advertising films and video clips.

In 1992, Mugler stepped into the field of perfumes, with “Angel” which became famous as soon as it arrived. In 1996, the Angel men perfume with the name “Angel Men” or “A*Men” was launched. Some of his most famous fragrance include Alien in 2005, Mirror in 2007, Womanity in 2010, Angel Muse in 2015, Angel Nova in 2020.

In 2019, he openly declared that "Thierry Mugler” is a brand name, so he went by his first name Manfred. Throughout his life he had many accidents. These include jeep crashes, gym and motorcycle accidents. These accidents led to many surgeries and operations. Mugler admired the human body and believed that every human being should fully understand himself, so he tried to pay homage to the body with his art. He also underwent chin surgery to beautify himself. At the age of 73, on 23 January 2022, this avant-garde French fashion designer died in his residency in Vincennes, Paris.

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