Marithe Francois Girbaud
Husband and wife team Marithe and Francois Girbaud founded their French Company specialising in casual clothing and jeans in 1969. The pair then went about launching their company in America.The brand gained popularity in the suburban areas and communities of Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, New Orleans and San Francisco.
The Girbauds saw the importance of the development and innovation of styles within the industry. Together they worked to create new styles and in 1967 experimented with fading jeans by washing them. Using all the laundries in their locality, the faded wash proved successful. In 1977 they launched the first ‘baggy style’ jeans. With the style a commercial success, the Company went onto launch the X-pocket design to feature on their jeans in 1980.
During the 80s the Girbaud’s sought to expand their American market by hiring Jennifer Beals of Flash Dance as their spokeswoman. The business also launched the ‘African Cut’ style jean, which helped transform the face of American street style with its loose fitting style.
The Girbaud’s started a charity in the early 90s aiming to help the younger generation avoid violence in the U.S. The brand earned recognition from the music industry in 1998. Hip Hop musician Juvenile showed his appreciation of the brand when referring to the business in a released song.
In 2005 the company launched a controversial advertising campaign that received negative media coverage. The advert featured The Last Supper where the apostles were replaced by women. Cited as a tribute to women the public didn’t agree resulting in the advert being banned in France and Italy for malicious depiction.
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Innovation has remained a key aspect for Marithe and Francois Girbaud. The business constantly develops new techniques, styles and finishes for their jeans and clothing which creates new designs. Known for their casual look that reflects urban street style, Francois Girbaud told Women’s Wear Daily in 1984, ‘We design from the streets. We start at the bottom and move up.’
Marithe Francois Girbaud Biography