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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, the wildly provocative French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier has created transformational clothing designs 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. His playful but exquisitely crafted reimaginings of classic Parisian styles — the striped mariner shirt, the trench coat — soon became recurring themes of Gaultier’s 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, debuting his first couture collection in 1997 and creating costumes for film and stage. He 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. He 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.

Browse a wide range of Jean Paul Gaultier clothing and accessories today on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$1,054
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Jean Paul Gaultier fashion for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers an extraordinary range of authentic Jean Paul Gaultier fashion. 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 interested in this designer might also find the work of Christian Louboutin, Moschino and Azzedine Alaïa appealing.. Find Jean Paul Gaultier fashion from top boutiques around the world on 1stDibs, vintage and haute couture. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $45 and tops out at $24,275 while the average work can sell for $863.
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
    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 ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Cannot find an answer
  • 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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