Luxury Cosmetics Brand: Christian Dior

Christian Dior is a luxury cosmetics brand founded by the eponymous French fashion designer in 1947. The brand is known for its high-quality makeup, skincare, and fragrances, which are sold in over 210 locations around the world. The brand is also committed to sustainability and innovation, using cutting-edge technology to create innovative, effective products while minimizing their environmental impact. It employs a total of 6,280 people and is known for its fashion accessories and beauty products. In 2019, Christian Dior had total revenue of €53.67 billion.

Christian Dior: The Founder of the Brand

Christian Dior was born into affluence in Granville, France, in 1905. His family was in the fertilizer business, which was started by his father. They relocated to Paris when Dior was five years old. As a young man, he earned extra money by selling his artwork on the street. After completing his education, he opened an art gallery in Paris, showcasing and selling the work of various artists. However, his father’s business failed in 1929, forcing him to close the gallery. Dior then began working for fashion designer Robert Piguet. After World War II, he found employment with Lucien Lelong.

During World War II, Dior used his artistic skills to create designs and secure work for notable fashion figures to keep the fashion industry going. He founded the Dior fashion house after the war, and his “New Look” collection helped restore Paris as a fashion hub. Dior received multiple awards for Best Costume Design throughout his lifetime. After his untimely passing in 1957, several prominent figures paid respect to his legacy.

Christian Dior in 1954

The Start of the Christian Dior Brand

Christian Dior founded his first haute couture boutique in 1946 at the age of 41. His debut exhibition was in 1947. The “New Look” moniker has stuck with the collections throughout their lifetimes. The New Look of 1947 included a broad, calf-length skirt and a Bar jacket that looked to be attached to the body, having a narrower waist and bigger bust.

The average dress he designed used 20 yards of fabric, directly responding to the fabric rationing that occurred after World War II. He contributed his designs to the fashion industry and made Paris a beacon of glamour in the bleak postwar European landscape. Stars like Margot Fonteyn and Rita Hayworth were immediately drawn to his label, which boosted the company’s profile from the start.

In 1949, Christian Dior established Dior Parfums and his luxury ready-to-wear brand, Dior, in New York. The first perfume, named after his sister, was called Miss Dior. Dior’s iconic “New Look” fashion line was supported by a range of high-end accessories bearing his name. The brand’s success through licensing made it a model for other fashion houses to follow.

The Christian Dior Home and Museum in Granville, France

The Successors to Christian Dior and the Evolution of the Fashion House

Christian Dior hired Yves Saint Laurent as an assistant and eventual successor to his design house in 1955. Saint Laurent was named artistic director by Dior’s business associate Jacques Routte after the fashion designer’s untimely death in 1957. Although Saint Laurent’s collections were well received initially, the designer soon lost sight of the values around which the label was founded. It was in the late 1960s that Rout replaced Saint Laurent with Marc Bohan after he was called to military service. Bohan’s introduction of the Slim Look revitalized the company and has kept it at the forefront of the fashion industry.

In 1978, the Boussac Group declared bankruptcy and sold Dior and other assets to the Willot Group. In 1984, Bernard Arnault and his group acquired the Willot Group’s holdings for a nominal fee. Arnault became the CEO, chairman, and managing director of Christian Dior in 1985. In 1989, Gianfranco Ferré took over as stylistic director from Marc Bohan. By 1990, Dior had opened boutiques in Los Angeles and Tokyo, and the brand had revenue of $129.3 million in 2019. This had grown to $177 million by 1995.

In 1997, John Galliano succeeded Ferré as the company’s creative director. According to Arnault, Galliano shared Christian Dior’s original aesthetic and creative vision. Therefore he was a natural fit to lead the design team at Dior. Galliano was successful in making Dior a sexier brand, which in turn, increased the label’s popularity. In 2011, a video of him making anti-Semitic slurs while drunk surfaced online, and he was fired.

In 2000, Hedi Slimane was appointed head designer for the Christian Dior menswear line, giving it a modern aesthetic. The line gained attention when Mick Jagger and Brad Pitt wore it. In 2012, Raf Simons was named creative director and brought new inspiration to the brand with designs inspired by Dior’s post-World War II pieces. 

Maria Grazia Chiuri became Dior’s first-ever female creative director in 2016. She modernized the designs by adding a touch of edginess to the traditionally feminine styles while staying true to Christian Dior’s original message of empowering women. In 2017, LVMH acquired Christian Dior, and Kim Jones has been the creative director for the men’s line since 2018.

Christian Dior’s Headquarters in Paris, France

What Makes Christian Dior Stand Out From the Crowd

Several factors contribute to the unique identity of the Christian Dior brand. The brand has a long and storied history dating back to 1947, founded by the renowned French fashion designer Christian Dior. This rich history has given the brand a strong legacy and a reputation for excellence in the fashion and beauty industries.

Furthermore, Christian Dior is known for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship. The brand’s products, including its makeup, skincare, and fragrances, are made using high-quality ingredients and are formulated to be effective and long-lasting.

Moreover, Christian Dior is a leader in sustainability and innovation. The brand uses cutting-edge technology to create innovative products that minimize their environmental impact and support sustainability.

Finally, Christian Dior is a luxury brand highly sought after by fashion and beauty enthusiasts worldwide. Its iconic products, such as the Dior Addict Lip Glow lip balm and the Diorshow mascara, have gained a devoted following among makeup enthusiasts and beauty professionals.

Christian Dior Haute Couture Suit by Marc Bohan, Spring/Summer 1973

The Types of Products That Christian Dior Offers

Christian Dior offers a wide range of products in the fashion, beauty, and fragrance categories.

  • Fashion: In the fashion category, dresses, skirts, coats, handbags, and shoes are just a few of the trendy items that are available for both men and women from this label. Dior also offers a range of jewelry and watches, including statement pieces and more subtle, classic designs.
  • Beauty: In the beauty category, Dior offers a range of makeup, skincare, and hair care products. The brand’s makeup line includes foundation, concealer, powder, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick in a range of shades and finishes. The skincare line includes cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, and treatments for a variety of skin concerns, such as acne, aging, and dryness. The haircare line includes shampoos, conditioners, treatments, and styling products.
  • Fragrances: In this category, different fragrances for both sexes are available from Dior. The brand’s signature perfumes include Miss Dior, J’adore, and Poison, while its colognes include Sauvage and Higher. Dior also offers a range of home fragrances, including candles, diffusers, and room sprays.

Dior cosmetics counter at New Zealand department store Smith & Caughey's in Auckland, New Zealand

Overall, Christian Dior is a highly respected and well-regarded brand that continues to set the standard for luxury fashion and beauty. The high-end label has been at the forefront of fashion innovation since it was founded. Christian Dior is a fashion house with a strong reputation for feminine designs. The company’s creative directors look to the founder for inspiration when designing new goods that update the classic Christian Dior aesthetic.