A Peek Into The Unknown: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Courrèges

French fashion house Courrèges has long been a trailblazer in the world of haute couture. Known for its groundbreaking silhouettes, love of modern lines, and undying commitment to futurism art movement, this brand has consistently challenged the fashion industry’s conventional norms. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the fascinating world of Courrèges. Here are ten things you might not know about this paragon of modern fashion:

1. Andre Courrèges – The Man Behind The Brand

With an international reputation for innovation, it’s no surprised that the man at the heart of Courrèges, Andre Courrèges, was a true trailblazer. Born in Pau, France, in 1923, Courrèges initially trained as a civil engineer before following his true passion – fashion.

Even as a young boy, Courrèges possessed a unique understanding of the stark beauty of streamlined structures and modern aesthetics that he later incorporated into his designs. He invested in his craft by studying at the Paris’ Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech, subsequently joining the atelier of Cristóbal Balenciaga for a decade. This time left an indelible mark on his design philosophy, which later led to the establishment of the Courrèges label.

2. The Birth of Space Age Chic

Founded in 1961, the Courrèges fashion house quickly distinguished itself with its innovative approach, forever changing the landscape of the fashion world with its introduction of ‘Space Age’ chic. This concept was characterised by design features such as geometric shapes, plastic inserts and metallic fabrics – all of which embodied an unusual, pioneering vision of a futuristic style.

The brand’s influence was so significant in the 60s that it even shapes what we now identify as the quintessential aesthetic of the era. From Twiggy to Audrey Hepburn, the Courrèges creations were embraced by leading style icons, making Andre Courrèges a household name in the fashion world.

3. The Courrèges Disc-Eyed Sunglasses

One of Courrèges’ most iconic creations was the Disc-Eyed sunglasses, first introduced in the mid-1960s. These striking accessories resembled goggles more than conventional sunglasses, with large, round plastic lenses and a sleek, minimalist design. Like the rest of the brand’s offerings, they projected a forward-thinking vibe that was years ahead of its time.

In retrospect, the popularity of the Disc-Eyed sunglasses can be seen as a testament to Courrèges’ influence. By turning a practical item of eyewear into a bold statement-piece, the brand expanded the boundaries of what fashion could be – a legacy that continues to this day.

4. Courrèges’ Reviving Minis

In 1964, Courrèges launched the mini skirt, a daring and provocative move that challenged the conventions of hemlines. Regardless of the controversy, the mini skirt gained immense popularity and became an emblem of youthful rebellion. It was an integral part of the stylistic shift in the 60s and one of Courrèges’ most enduring legacies.

The introduction of the mini skirt was a significant stride towards liberating women from societal expectations of what was deemed ‘appropriate’ to wear. By allowing women to embrace and express their autonomy, the mini skirt became much more than a fashion item – it was a symbol of women’s liberation.

5. The Courrèges Automobile

Courrèges’ unique brand vision extended far beyond clothing. The brand also ventured into the world of automobile design, launching the ‘Zoop’ – an eclectic, battery-operated car with clean, streamlined aesthetics. The car created quite a stir when it was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in 1969.

Just like Courrèges’ clothing, the Zoop vehicle was avant-garde and exuded a perfect blend of futurism and practicality. It was designed to be compact, pollution-free, and perfect for city use, mirroring many of today’s modern design principles.

6. Courrèges and The Moon Landing

In 1969, when Neil Armstrong set his foot on the moon, Courrèges commemorated the event by releasing the ‘Moon Girl’ collection. This series was inspired directly by Armstrong’s moon suit, reflecting the triumphant spirit of scientific progress.

The collection featured silver garments, boots and accessories, with a distinctly otherworldly aesthetic that perfectly captured the zeitgeist of that moment. The ‘Moon Girl’ collection was a perfect example of how Courrèges was not just a leader in fashion, but also connected to significant global and cultural events of the time.

7. Protégés of Courrèges

With Courrèges’ reputation for innovation and rebellion, it’s no surprise that its ranks launched several successful careers. Notably, Courrèges alumnus John Galliano went on to become head designer of Christian Dior, and Balenciaga’s Guillaume Henry honed their style under Courrèges’ tutelage.

Courrèges also introduced the young talent, Jacques Monory, a French painter known for his narrative figuration, making the fashion house a breeding ground for future success stories in the fashion and art world.

8. Courrèges and Vinyl

Courrèges is renowned for using innovative materials in its designs, but did you know one of its favourites is vinyl? While vinyl may not traditionally be associated with high fashion, Andre Courrèges saw its potential to create a futuristic look and incorporated the material into his designs as early as the 1960s.

From the sleek and shiny white jackets to the iconic go-go boots, vinyl quickly became a staple in Courrèges’ collections. The material’s unique texture and light reflection qualities added to the otherworldly charm of the brand’s Space Age vibe.

9. The Brand’s Iconic Logo

Courrèges’ logo, a simple geometric design of two interlocking ‘C’s, is as iconic as the brand itself. Symbolising the flawless merge of creativity and industrial elegance, the logo perfectly captures the persona of the brand and its founder.

It maintains a pervasive presence across all Courrèges collections and stands as a defining symbol of Andre Courrèges’ commitment to stark minimalism, architectural aesthetics, and quality craftsmanship.

10. Courrèges Today

Despite the death of its founder in 2016, the Courrèges brand continues his legacy, maintaining its unique blend of cutting-edge style and undeniable elegance. Under the creative direction of Nicolas Di Felice, Courrèges has stayed true to its founder’s ethos, all while keeping their eyes firmly fixed on the future.

Today, the collection features a range of both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear lines, leather goods, accessories, perfumes and eyewear. They even recently released a collection made from sustainable, recycled materials, showcasing their commitment to innovation.

To learn more about Courrèges, visit their official site here, or check out their latest collection here