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Jean Patou


Fashion designer and world-famous perfumer Jean Patou got his start in 1880. Born in Normandy, the handsome Frenchman worked briefly in his father's leather tannery before joining his uncle's fur trade business. It was this family business that helped Jean break into the fashion industry. He opened his first dressmaking business in Paris in 1910, but the foray was short-lived. He went on to establish another Parisian dressmaking business in 1912. Called Maison Parry, the upscale tailors sold both dresses and furs. Jean created his own collection in 1914, but was interrupted by the war and joined the Zovares regiment in its fight against the French Foreign Legion. When he returned in 1919, he promptly opened the House of Patou, where he showcased his first couture collection. A gambler in the casinos, Jean carried his penchant for risk-taking into the booming world of couture fashion. The House of Patou soon added sportswear, establishing a sports-oriented fashion boutique called Le Coin des Sports in 1925. The brand also began emphasizing accessories and colorful, non-shrinkage swimwear.

The year 1925 also saw the introduction of Patou's best-known perfume, JOY. Like the finest couture garment, JOY was meticulously designed to be extraordinary and timeless. At the time, it was the world's most expensive perfume, and it helped the House of Patou stay afloat during the luxury fashion market crash of the Great Depression. Patou passed in 1936, but his legacy lives on in his 38 fragrances, including Amour Amour and 2013's JOY Forever.

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