Thierry Mugler

Born: Strasbourg, France, 1945
Died: Vincennes, France, 2022

Designer Biography Thierry Mugler

Copyright © AFP / Jean-Régis Roustan / Roger-Viollet

Studying dance from an early age, Thierry Mugler joined the Ballet of the National Rhine Opera aged 14. Dancing professionally for six years, Mugler developed an appreciation and understanding of performance. While dancing he also attended the Strasbourg School of Decorative Art, which led to him creating and designing his own clothes.

At 20, Mugler moved to Paris where he started designing for a boutique – Gudule. Two years later he started freelance designing in Paris, London, Milan and Barcelona for ready-to-wear fashion houses.

In 1973, Mugler launched his first clothing line ‘Café de Paris’. Azzedine Alaia joined Mugler and started to help design his creations, working for him up into the late seventies.

The following year, he created his own label. In 1976, fashion editor Melka Treanton asked him to show his collection in Tokyo and two years later Mugler opened his first boutique in Paris. At the same time Mugler launched a one off male collection.

In 1988 he produced his first book ‘Thierry Mugler, Photographer’.

With success growing, Mugler was building a name for his catwalk shows and by 1992; he had designed his first haute couture collection. The same year he released his first perfume ‘Angel’. In 1994, Mugler launched his ‘Scratched’ line which featured uneven hemlines and necklines.

Over the next two years, more boutiques opened and in 1997, Mugler released his first male fragrance, ‘A*MEN’.

In 1998, Mugler was the first designer to create a virtual fashion show on the computer and the following year, Mugler released his second book ‘Fashion Fetish Fantasy’.

Another fragrance was released in 2005 – ‘Alien’. The same year, Mugler opened the ‘Thierry Mugler Perfume Workshops’, with the aim to teach the craftsmanship and knowledge to make fragrances.

Mugler launched a collection of five more fragrances in 2007, with the idea of ‘perfume-trickery’ to ‘enhance one’s presence.’ The following year, a beauty line was launched. Two years later in 2010, Mugler launched a website womanity.com, a place for women to express their femininity and visions.

In 2009, Mugler was appointed Artistic Director for Beyonce’s ‘I Am? World Tour’ and designed all of the shows costumes.

Nicola Formichetti was announced as the new Creative Director in September 2010. Formichetti changed the brands named to Mugler. The following year, he launched the brands first menswear line.

Described as a ‘dynamic designer’, Thierry Mugler has worked with some of the worlds most famous figures. Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Mylene Farmer are all Mugler advocates. Known for his exceptional catwalk shows, Mugler always creates a performance. His style is ultimate femme fatale, structured elegance with a feminine silhouette that is accentuated by the sharp cuts.

In 2010, the House of Mugler released the fragrance “Womanity,” adding to their collection of scents. Mugler’s latest fragrances, “Angel Muse” and “Angel Nova,” were introduced in 2015 and June 2020, respectively.

Thierry Mugler’s vintage designs experienced a remarkable resurgence in popularity among celebrities, with stars like Lady Gaga and Cardi B donning his creations in music videos, red carpets, and public appearances. The brand’s vintage pieces have become highly sought after by Generation Z consumers, according to Teen Vogue.

In 2019, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts honored Thierry Mugler with the ‘Thierry Mugler: Couturissime’ exhibition, celebrating his contributions to the fashion world.

Mugler, who was openly gay, had a passion for bodybuilding. After leaving the fashion industry, he embraced a reclusive lifestyle and preferred to be addressed by his first name, Manfred. He underwent extensive body modifications following accidents, including the reconstruction of his nose after a jeep crash and the removal of metal from his leg after a motorcycle accident. Mugler expressed that he wanted his face to represent progress and transformation, symbolizing his transition from a dancer to a warrior.

On January 23, 2022, Thierry Mugler passed away peacefully at the age of 73 at his residence in Vincennes, Paris, due to natural causes. His remarkable legacy as a visionary fashion designer and creative force in the industry will forever be remembered.

Thierry Mugler Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.


3 thoughts on “Thierry Mugler

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