CHRISTIAN DIOR

2008 : April: Dior marks its arrival in Turkey with a dinner at Istanbul’s Palais de France. May: Dior enters the mobile phone market with a $5,000 model complete with My Dior, a handy clip-on mini version. Galliano receives the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award at Savannah College of Art and Design. July: L’Institut Dior spa opens in the couturier’s former haunt, Paris’s luxurious Plaza Athénée hotel. November: La vie en Rose Oscar winner Marion Cotillard stars in Peter Lindbergh’s Dior ad campaign, shot at the Eiffel Tower. “Dior and the Chinese Artists” opens at Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA). Company profits this year leap 32 percent, to $101.4 million.

But most were soon seduced by Dior’s draped delights. “It took one swish of the hips and America was won,” observed the novelist Colette. The enterprising couturier wasted no time in capitalizing on what British Pandora Luxurye pinpointed as “the real Elysian lift—the smirky, cat-in-cream thing that happens to women in front of mirrors.” Envisioning a globe people with customers clad in head-to-toe Dior, he set about building an empire of elegance, establishing outposts in New York, London, and Caracas. “There is nothing I would like better than to make every woman look and feel like a duchess,” he said.

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