Christian Dior - Fashion Designer

Christian Dior Cruise 2009 Collection - Runway
Christian Dior Cruise 2009 Collection - Runway. Scott Gries / Getty Images

Christian Dior is one of the more interesting stories in fashion history. Born in Normandy, France in 1905, Dior came into fashion in a roundabout way. He also accomplished most of his success in the last ten years of his relatively brief and tumultuous life.

Having studied political science in his youth, Dior served in France's armed forces and then moved back to Paris in the mid-1930s. The times were hard and Dior began selling some of his fashion sketches to make money.

After improving his designs over the next few years, he acquired his first real fashion job working for designer Robert Piguet in 1938.

Christian Dior in Fashion:

World War II came and Dior was enlisted to serve in southern France in until 1941, when he was finally able to return to Paris. He acquired another apprenticeship, this time with the designing firm Lucien Lelong. Dior's designs were very well received and it was not to be long before Dior established his own design house with the support of French entrepreneur Marcel Boussac.

Christian Dior Style:

Dior was known for his extravagance in women’s wear in a post-war time when women had been used to shorter and boxier skirts, which had their roots in the war-time rationing of fabric. His "New Look," as it became known, was unapologetically feminine with skirts long, gown-like and opulent. The commercial success of his post-war designs led to a rapid rise in popularity, and also somewhat of a re-establishing of Paris as the center of the world of Haute Couture design.

Dior continued to run his successful fashion house until his sudden death at a health spa in Montecatini, Italy in 1957.

Shop Christian Dior:

Today the House of Dior has expanded beyond women's wear to include also menswear, accessories, jewelry, beauty products and fragrances. The Dior accessory line includes eyewear, belts, hats, scarves and other accessories.

Dior also features handbags and shoes. To view the latest items, visit Dior.com, where you can check out the Dior Karenina, Dior Jazzclub, Dior Gaucho and Lady Dior collections, along with the ready-to-wear fashions and accessories.

Dior accessories are available at boutiques and fine department stores, including Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and others.