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Portrait of Jeanne Lanvin | Lanvin, plus de 125 ans de création


She was thus able to impose
before fashion was even a CONCEPT

As the 19th century drew to a close, Jeanne Lanvin had grand plans.

In 1889, while working as a milliner at number 22, rue du Faubourg St Honoré, she was already thinking of founding her own fashion house.

Her dream came true in 1909. Far from slowing her down, the birth of her daughter Marguerite in 1897 fuelled her entrepreneurism.

Indeed, Jeanne Lanvin was exceptional in combining motherhood and her career.

She stayed away from society events, remaining discreet and apart, listening only to her own ambitions and feelings. She was well-attuned to the beat of her time; she understood its needs and created a perfect response.
She was thus able to impose her idea of fashion before fashion was even a concept, deploying different creative skills and diversifying her activities.

From 1909 to her death in 1946

She directed her company wisely, letting nothing and nobody diminish her curiosity for contemporary arts, new forms, and the cultures of the world.
Her vision and dedication have carried the House into its second century.

An unprecedented lifespan, made possible by the way in which the essence of Lanvin has been passed down, ensuring that the company today is exactly what Jeanne Lanvin herself would have made it.

lanvin blue

Its intense QUATTROCENTO BLUE was to become her PET SHADE…

Blue skies and fields of lavender.

In Florence, Jeanne Lanvin gazed, transfixed, upon a Fra Angelico fresco.

Its remarkably intense quattrocento blue was to become her pet shade.

Jeanne Lanvin always showed great sensitivity to colour.

Subsequently enhancing her palette with Velazquez green, a homage to another great master, and Polignac pink, which she created for her daughter when she married the Count de Polignac.

Jeanne Lanvin always desired to create unique colours led her to set up her own dyeing workshop in Nanterre in 1923.

marguerite forever

Her unconditional LOVE for her daughter FIRED her CREATIVITY.

«She sewed to dazzle her daughter, and in so doing she dazzled the world.»

- It was in these terms that Louise de Vilmorin described Jeanne Lanvin’s love for Marguerite Marie Blanche, born in 1897. Her unconditional love for her daughter fired her creativity.

In creating highly sophisticated outfits for her daughter, she invented child fashion.

Child apparel thus became Lanvin’s first department, created in 1908.

The mothers who bought these outfits were won over and soon demanded similar attire for themselves, leading to the launch of departments for Young Ladies and Women.

Furthermore, Arpège, Lanvin’s iconic perfume, was created in 1927 to celebrate Marie-Blanche’s 30th birthday, and today’s Blanche bridal wear collection also bears her name.


Archives – Pathé
La mode à Paris
Années 1920

lifestyle intuition

She was the 1st designer to see FASHION as a LIFESTYLE.

When clothes-making alone was not enough.

he saw her creations a part of a wider dynamic that encompassed a wide range of fields, including interior decorating, perfume, lingerie, sportswear, furs, and menswear.

She inaugurated the brand principle and extended it across different product lines which together make up the Lanvin world.



embroidery & decorative work

…Of subtletly of coptic & chinese EMBROIDERY & rich cultures…

Jeanne Lanvin travelled the world, compiling her discoveries into a  ”fabric library” that nourished her inspiration with patterns and themes from far away.


She was a discerning collector who appreciated the subtlety of Coptic and Chinese embroidery and the rich cultural heritage of Japan and Persia. And she poured it all back into contemporary fashion, adorning her creations with a magnificently artistic profusion of ribbons, velvet medallions, sequins and silk threaded embroideries.

an artist's soul

…For her, ART & FASHION are one.

She rubbed shoulders with many contemporary artists, writers, musicians and designers, and was therefore able to create partnerships that glorified her taste for the arts.

In 1901, she designed an Académicien suit for Edmond Rostand, author of Cyrano. She dressed Yvonne Printemps (Madame Sacha Guitry), the silent movie star Mary Pickford, and the acclaimed writer Louise de Vilmorin. She worked with Armand – Albert Rateau on the interior design of the Daunou theatre, inaugurated in 1921. Her peerless artistic sensitivity and unerring sense of volume, composition and colour association have been universally acclaimed.


For Jeanne Lanvin, art and fashion are one.

In 2014, Lanvin celebrated its 125th anniversary.

This is an occasion to immerse yourself in the exciting history of the oldest fashion house still in business. You can also discover 125 years of design on F, I, P, an invitation to travel through the house’s philosophy.

Lanvin 125 ans



at the Palais Galliera

The Palais Galliera is honouring the oldest French fashion house still in business.

This first Paris retrospective devoted to Jeanne Lanvin features over a hundred models from the amazing collections of the Palais Galliera and the Lanvin Heritage. A capacity for hard work and an intuitive understanding of the modern world only partly explain the extraordinary success of this discreet woman. The Lanvin House and the Palais Galliera invite you to an encounter with this great lady of haute couture
from March, the 8th to August, the 23rd 2015.

10 avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie, Paris 16e

Exhibition Jeanne Lanvin at the Palais Galliera from March 8th to August 23rd
copyright Lanvin, photographer James Bort.