JEAN PATOU

Haute couture designer

Chic personality of the Boardwalk

Jean Patou left his mark on the French and international fashion world. Avant-gardist and restless worker, he developed a unique style and created his owned company.

His timeless style elegantly mixed chic and casual wear, morning and evening garments, ignoring age barriers in an incredibly modern sense of fashion, quite like his own life. His company grew considerably in a short span of time around 1924 and was aimed to a cosmopolitan clientele. He was known in America as the “Europe’s most elegant man”.

He had a strong sense of marketing, and launched his “huile de Chaldée”, the very first sun lotion in 1927. He created many fragrances, including Joy , which knows great success even in these days. He was the first to organize catwalks and to hire American models to perform in France.

In 1924, he opened a subsidiary of his Parisian couture shop in Deauville. “Le pavillon des bains” (the baths pavilion), a fleeting boutique by the seaside which only opened during high season. The shop attracted large crowds, seeking its creator and marveling in front of the shop’s window, showcasing new casual attire, allowing more freedom of motions.

As a regular client of the Deauville casino, his quiet presence in company of friends André Citroën and Charles Hennessy at the gaming tables delighted high society chronicles. He often drove in from Paris in his luxurious sports car, a Farman convertible which he maneuvered in leather gloves and helmet. In Deauville, he could often be spotted at the Bar du Soleil terrace in light gabardine trousers, bicolored shoes, white shirt and stripped tie under a simple cashmere cardigan. He embodied a male version of the sportswear he and his associates created at the beginning of the 1920s.