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Jean Paul Gaultier

French, b. 1952

Endeavoring to tear down gender stereotypes and sartorial norms on the catwalk, making underwear outerwear, putting men in skirts and models of all shapes and sizes on the runway, Jean Paul Gaultier has created wildly provocative, transformational designs for day dresses, gowns, tops and other garments that draw on numerous influences and boldly merge haute couture with street sensibility.

An only child raised in the suburbs of Paris, Gaultier didn’t have a formal fashion education. But he loved to sketch and was drawn to clothing, citing the corsets in his maternal grandmother’s closet as having a formative impact on his creative direction. He’s said that some of his earliest fashion work was for his teddy bear, and later he would send his sketches to designers he revered, including Pierre Cardin.

Gaultier began his career in 1970 as an assistant to Cardin, who admired the sketches the 18-year-old had sent for his appraisal. After Gaultier had his first runway show in 1976, featuring unconventional statements like pairing motorcycle jackets with ballerina skirts, it didn’t take long for his star to rise.

Gaultier's playful but exquisitely crafted reimaginings of classic Parisian styles — the striped mariner shirt, the trench coat — soon became recurring themes of his eponymous house, which he founded with his life partner and business associate Francis Menuge in 1982.

“He was absolutely peerless for the longest time in the late ’80s and early ’90s,” fashion editor Tim Blanks told the New York Times. This was the period of Gaultier’s most iconic designs.

In 1984, Gaultier’s “Boy Toy” collection challenged men’s fashion with striped shirts and skirts — and sold around 3,000 of them. He was hailed for spectacle-laden runway shows and superb tailoring. Gaultier began to work with Madonna during the late 1980s, and, at the pop star’s request, he designed the costumes for her 1990 “Blond Ambition” tour. Her pink corset became a cultural touchstone of the era.

Gaultier continued to expand his brand. There were the colorful all-over graphic prints in the sheer stretch-tulle fabric of his Soleil line — which have gained fans in millennials seeking the authentic, easy style of 1990s fashion — and he debuted his first couture collection in 1997. Gaultier created costumes for film and stage and was nominated for a César Award for Best Costume Design for The City of Lost Children (1995) and then a second for Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element (1997).

From 2003 to 2010, Gaultier was the creative director for Hermès. The first international exhibition of his work, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” debuted in 2011 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and toured to cities including Stockholm, New York City, Dallas and London. Vintage Gaultier Birkin bags are unsurprisingly sought-after collectibles, and the So Black collection — a line that included the So Black Birkin, which featured black PVD-coated hardware — was among his last works for the brand before his departure.

Gaultier presented his last ready-to-wear collection in 2014 and in 2020 stepped down from his couture line, ending his boundary-pushing, industry-shaping reign with a raucous show of more than 230 outfits formed from fragments of collections from across his 50-year career.

One of fashion’s enfants terribles, Gaultier has never sought out pretty for pretty’s sake. Instead, he has challenged the traditional ideals of beauty. Today, the designer's vintage clothing designs — experimental undergarments cut from lace and suede, leather-trimmed evening dresses and jackets of denim, plastic or striped jersey — are as punk as they are high fashion.

Find vintage Jean Paul Gaultier dresses, skirts, jeans and accessories today on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$1,111
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Jean Paul Gaultier fashion for sale on 1stDibs.

Find an extraordinary range of authentic Jean Paul Gaultier fashion available on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing our collection of unique vintage and designer fashion to elevate your daily look or to introduce new colors to the dazzling formal wear in your wardrobe, this designer’s body of work includes elements of red, purple, blue and other tones. Most of the items here were designed during the 20th Century, but you can find examples that were created as recently as the 21st Century and Contemporary. Customers who are interested in this designer might also find the work of Roberto Cavalli, Azzedine Alaïa, and Tom Ford for Gucci appealing. On 1stDibs, find haute couture, vintage and designer Jean Paul Gaultier fashion from top boutiques around the world. Jean Paul Gaultier fashion prices can differ depending upon time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $69 and tops out at $30,000, while the average work can sell for $996.
Questions About Jean Paul Gaultier
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    If you want to properly pronounce Jean Paul Gaultier, it should sound like ”zhaan-paal-gaal-tee-ay”. Gaultier himself originates from a suburb of Paris, France. You can shop iconic vintage and contemporary Jean Paul Gaultier fashions from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Jean Paul Gaultier was born on April 24, 1952 in a suburb of Paris. He is known as the ‘enfant-terrible’ of the fashion world, whose designs celebrated androgyny. On 1stDibs, find a collection of authentic Jean Paul Gaultier pieces from some of the world’s top sellers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Cannot find an answer
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    To assess the authenticity of a Jean Paul Gaultier, look for the black tag that features the logo stitched in a typewriter font. If you are buying a vintage Jean Paul Gaultier item, be sure you are buying from a reputable source. Save the stress and shop a collection of properly vetted vintage and new Jean Paul Gaultier designs from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2024
    Yes, Jean Paul Gaultier is French. He was born in Arcueil, a suburb of Paris, in 1952. He didn't have a formal fashion education, but he loved to sketch and was drawn to clothing, citing the corsets in his maternal grandmother's closet as having a formative impact on his creative direction. Gaultier founded his luxury fashion house in 1982 and unveiled his first collection in 1984. On 1stDibs, find a diverse assortment of Jean Paul Gaultier apparel and accessories.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 16, 2024
    The Jean Paul Gaultier brand is more than 40 years old. Founder Jean Paul Gaultier established the fashion house in 1982 with the help of his life partner and business associate, Francis Menuge. However, Gaultier's work as a designer began early, as he held his first fashion show in 1974. Explore a selection of Jean Paul Gaultier apparel and accessories on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 27, 2024
    Yes, Jean Paul Gaultier is a good brand. The French luxury fashion house, established in 1982 and named for its founder, has the official, legal haute couture designation from FHCM and has a reputation for using high-end materials and meticulous production techniques. Many celebrities have been spotted wearing Jean Paul Gaultier, including Dua Lipa, Marion Cotillard, Lil Nas X and Kim Kardashian. On 1stDibs, shop a range of Jean Paul Gaultier apparel and accessories.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Jean-Paul Riopelle did Abstract Expressionist artwork, producing both paintings and sculptures over the course of his career. Some of his most famous pieces include Pavane, Forestine, Landing and Perspectives. On 1stDibs, you can shop a selection of Jean-Paul Riopelle art.

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