Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895)
Gaston Worth (1853-1924)
Jean-Philippe Worth (1856-1926)
The House of Worth and, according to some sources, French couture, started with Charles Frederick Worth. Charles was English; he spent much of his youth in London as an apprentice at Swan & Edgar and at the age of 20 he left for Paris. There he worked at Gagelin et Opigez, a store that specialized in cloaks and shawls. And there he met his wife, Marie, for whom he began designing dresses.
Eventually, Gagelin et Opigez started making his designs for sale in the store.
Worth left Gagelin et Opigez in 1858 and opened his own house, Worth et Bobergh with business partner Otto Bobergh. Maison Worth was established in 1874. By that time Worth had become the couturier to the various courts in Europe, most notably, he was court dressmaker to the French Empress Eugenie. After having been an early champion of the crinoline in the 1850s, he was one of the first to abandon it in favor of the bustle in the late 1860s. He was the first designer to show his designs on live models and he pioneered the princess-cut dress and tailor made suits.
Charles Frederick was succeeded at Maison Worth by his sons Gaston and Jean-Philippe. They both died in the 1920s and the House was run by two grandsons, Jacques (who was responsible for the famous Worth perfumes) and Jean-Charles. In 1953 the House was closed in a merger with Paquin. The Worth name was bought by Sydney Massin, who founded Worth London Ltd. It was open on Grosvenor Street until 1967.
In recent years the label has been revived with designer Giovanni Bedin.
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com