Claude Montana (b.1949) French Fashion Designer

Claude Montana (1991) French Fashion Designer
le couturier Claude Montana et Christy Turlington lors de son défilé, Prêt-à-Porter, collection Printemps-été 1992 à Paris en octobre 1991, France. (Photo by ARNAL/GARCIA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Claude Montana (b.1949) is a French Fashion Designer.

Biography

Montana’s career in fashion began almost accidentally; he moved to London in the early 1970s “to escape studying,” having no plans and no work visa. Raising money by selling rhinestone-studded papier mache jewellery, he met a Vogue editor by happenstance and had his work featured in the magazine. As a result of his success in London, he was able to extend his stay there by a year, and upon his return to Paris he found work as a freelance designer for the leather company MacDouglas, whose owner’s wife had requested more opulent creations. From these humble beginnings, Montana went on to become a major player in the French and international ready-to-wear industry, designing for companies like Complice and Cadette in Italy and Ferrer y Sentis in Spain.

Style

Montana is best known for his leatherwork, which features bold and innovative uses of cut, texture, and colour. To create his looks, he favours bold hues like black, red, and grey and draws influence from traditional menswear elements like broad shoulders and boxy cuts. His most incredible skill is his ability to make traditionally masculine shapes appear strong and alluring to women.

Sheep skin coat - Claude Montana
Coat made of fluffy blue sheepskin, designed by Claude Montana, circa 1980s. Shown as part of the Chicago History Muesum’s November 2014 ‘Chicago Styled’ exhibition. (Photo by Chicago History Museum/Getty Images)

Sources

Dormer, P. (1999). The illustrated dictionary of twentieth century designers. Greenwich.

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