5-WOW-Berlin-Mag-125-Anniversary-lanvin-Fashion-Trend-High-History-and-biographyShe was never predestined to enter the gilded gates of fashion, yet this woman revolutionized fashion as we now know it. Yes, Jeanne Lanvin’s background is similar to that of a heroine from Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, as the oldest of 11 children bore into a very modest family. Yet she is now only remembered as an empress of couture, dressing women as figures of elegance and glamour at an age where prêt-à-porter wasn’t even alive yet, in the late nineteenth century.

Yet Jeanne Lanvin fought her way to the top, starting out in the world of fashion as a simple hat-maker, as a way to make money to finance her large family. That’s when she first developed her passion for creation: one that wasn’t even close to ever halt. At the age of 22, she opened her first boutique on the Rue du Faubourg St Honoré, in Paris, where she sold her hats. Nowadays, her store is synonymous with the success and transcendence of Lanvin as an eternal, everlasting brand, since the store is still there, and as active as ever.

Yet hats weren’t Jeanne Lanvin’s revelation into fashion, nor were they her biggest triumph. Indeed, it is only once the young woman became a mother, in 1903, that her true destiny arose alongside her love for her child. She started sewing baby clothes for her daughter Marguerite, elegant clothes that immediately were a hit amongst friends and acquaintances of Jeanne’s, who then demanded she do the same for their own children. As a result, Jeanne’s designs became extremely popular amongst the French upper-middle class, and soon enough her designs for baby clothes expanded into a full-grown young women and women’s section. That was the birth of Lanvin, or the oldest, most renowned French fashion house still operating nowadays.

Until now, Lanvin’s designs still remain signatures of traditional graciousness and childish carefreeness, or the intertwining of a mother and a daughter’s legacy which has, and will always, embrace the value of family and perseverance.