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 known for his innovative and daring designs, featuring unconventional materials and bold colours. He has won awards and is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of fashion design and inspiring future generations.


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 featured his work in the magazine. As a result of his success in London, he could extend his stay there by a year. 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 became 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.


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. He is a sought-after designer who has mastered the art of creating garments that accentuate curves and highlight best features, while still maintaining a sense of femininity. His designs have inspired and empowered women worldwide, making him a household name.

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)


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

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