2014 marked Lanvin’s 125th anniversary. On that occasion, the Maison started planning an exhibit to be shown at the Palais Galliera this year. A woman who was way ahead of her time in terms of her profession and her personal life, Jeanne Lanvin continues to be an inspiration to the house of Lanvin as well as to fashion lovers around the world. Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about her.
She made dolls for a living
Lanvin’s business initially started with hats, however, long before, the designer made dolls and sold them in fairs. She would also dress her beloved daughter Marguerite in clothes that she’d sewn for her. Her office also housed a set of dolls (that she made) signifying the Lanvin logo, which is that of a silhouette of herself and her daughter.
She employed 1,200 people by 1920
Lanvin was a visionary who believed that people were at the core of every business. She hired her own embroiderers, seamstresses and tailors to assist with the work. By the time she had 1,200 employees in 1920, all her operation was done in-house so that it could be up to her own standards.
She was inspired by travel
Just as modern-day designers are inspired by their travels and cultures hey stumble upon, Jeanne Lanvin was as well. Several of her mementos show that the designer was inspired by India as well as Japan thanks to a printed sari and Japanese cotton that were laying around her office.
She branched out into children’s and men’s fashion
Jeanne Lanvin started making children’s fashionable clothes as early as 1908. She also ventured out into bridal, fur, and lingerie lines and experimented interior decoration and sport. By 1926, she launched a menswear line. Her talent and dreams took her beyond Paris as she also opened shops in Deauville, Biarritz, Barcelona, Buenos-Aires, Cannes, and Le Touquet.
She was way ahead of her time
Lanvin ran a nursery on the premises for her employees’ children. She was also married twice and divorced twice.