Jean Patou (1887-1936) opened his first design house, Parry, in 1912. Two years later he reformed the company under his own name, but was forced to leave it in the care of his family while he was deployed during WWI. He was back in business after the war and in 1919 the House of Patou began in earnest. His clothes were sporty and youthful and they were a big success both in France and in the United States. He not only designed dresses, but also true sportswear such as tennis dresses, ski ensembles, and bathing suits.
In 1924 Patou traveled to the US and when he returned to Paris he took with him six American models. The American trade was an important part of his business and the models were to assure a good fit on the taller American figure, and to attract more US buyers.
In 1929 Patou lowered hemlines and moved the waist back to its natural position and the rest of the fashion world soon followed suit.
Patou died in 1936 and the house was then directed by his brother-in-law, Raymond Barbas. Since then there has been a considerable amount of talent at the house of Patou, including Marc Bohan 1953-1957, Mad Carpentier 1958-1960, Karl Lagerfeld 1960-1963, and Christian LeCroix 1982-87. The last clothing collection was in 1987, and since that time Patou has produced perfumes.
Written by fuzzylizzie