© Droits Réservés_Patrimoine Lanvin

A Century Brand Nurtured by a Selfless Maternal Love

The Maison Lanvin went through 125 years of history, continuously embodying elegance, never blindly following trends

In 1889, Jeanne Lanvin founded the Lanvin brand. From this period on the world of Lanvin fashion house has been made of products as varied as high level of custom-made, perfume, men’s clothes, home decoration, and so on. The Maison Lanvin went through 125 years of history, continuously embodying elegance and fashion, never blindly following trends. It fell down and rose up again. The company is able to keep undisturbed at the heart of a fierce struggle. With powerful roots, the brand spirit is not without relevance – A mother’s selfless love for her daughter.

© Droits Réservés_Patrimoine Lanvin
© Droits Réservés, Patrimoine Lanvin.

Jeanne Lanvin was born in 1867, the eldest of a large family of 11 children. At the age of 13 she got her first job, a few years later she became a seamstress. At 18, she launched her own business venture – a millinery production. Slowly, slowly the business was on the road and had loyal customers. In 1895, Jeanne married an Italian nobleman, after three years she gave birth to her daughter – Marguerite , Marie Blanche.

To Jeanne the birth of her only daughter was both a source of unconditional love and of strong motivation in her career. She was a Muse for her. The child completely changed the direction of her fate, she is the reason why we know Lanvin today. The 9 year marriage of Jeanne and Italian nobleman came to an end, but their child remained a lifetime long passion.

When Marguerite was a little baby, Jeanne began to design doll clothes for her, which became unexpectedly a success from the millinery shop customers. With her daughter growing up, her designs evolved with the young girls’ clothing. At the hands of Jeanne was born the first designed clothes for young girls. The customers fell in love with it, following the trends of her daughter’s clothing style.

As her daughter grew up, other ordinary lady clothes, dresses and so on were added to Jeanne’s collection. When creating her daughter clothing line, Lanvin’s style was always stylish and elegant, imaginative but never blindly following the extravagant fashion trends. After the fashion house was born, its elegant tailoring, its colors pairing skills as well as its reputation, buzzed in the fashion industry. Until now it is the only remaining oldest Paris fashion house.

The most noteworthy is the brand Logo. Lanvin’s Logo is symbolized by a lady and a little girl holding hands. This comes from a real photo – Jeanne Lanvin and Marguerite’s photo which was taken at a ball in 1907. The Logo uses the art of curved lines of the dress which emphasizes the holding hands, conveying Jeanne’s eternal maternal feeling. The logo designed by the famous artist decorator Paul Iribe, embodies the brand and establishes the beginning of the core spirit. Additionally, in 1920 Jeanne Lanvin began home decoration and perfume manufacture, with the theme of her daughter’s name, Marguerite.


To understand the history, writer Louise de Vilmorin commented about Jeanne Lanvin: “She just wanted to dazzle her, but slowly dazzles the world.” At this point, it is still confusing and unclear when discussing maternal love or fashion. Such a selfless love and passion into a career, is not comparable to other intentions. No wonder the ancient Chinese quote says, “such kindness of warm sun, can’t be repaid by grass.”

In addition, Jeanne Lanvin had an intense life, travelling and getting involved in the arts. The famous blue of the Lanvin brand came from Jeanne Lanvin’s Italy trip in 1920. She accidentally encountered the artist Fra Angelico’s paintings, the gentle touch of sky blue and purple made her gaze for such a long time that her neck stiffened up. Thus, the same year, in the process of finding the most similar color, she obtained a range of a dozen to twenty kinds of blue which would be used for the brand. In this context, the blue color of Lanvin became a brand identity.

Of course, Jeanne Lanvin did not stop to explore other colors, as a result Lanvin brand’s logo colors include the Rose Polignac (representing the gentle light pink of Marguerite), the Vert Velázquez (referring to the almond green used in the paintings), coral, cherry red and pale violet.

In 1932, after the successful campaign of the U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, Roosevelt’s wife chose the “Misty Blue Satin, a new Lanvin shade” Lanvin skirt to participate to the celebration banquet. At that time, her artistic skills as well as her conservation skills, her unique fashion concept, her selfless maternal love and her refined Lanvin brand was already renowned throughout the world, and it still is until today. Nicole Kidman, Liv Tyler, Charlize Theron and other international stars often wear Lanvin dresses to attend ceremonies.

After changing hands, owned by the Asian Ms. Wang Hsiao-lan, the Israeli design director Alber Elbaz has been repeatedly awarded as a genius of costume design. In 2005, Lucas Ossendrijver worked for Lanvin Men bringing great evolutions in the industry.

Still today Lanvin never blindly follows the fashion trends, maintaining an independent attitude from them; always graceful and elegant tailoring and using gorgeous materials to create audacious designs. The grass nurtured by a century of the spring sun, fashion remains unabated and tenacious, walking as if it was just newly created. Perhaps it is because the designers, in the process of creating, think kindly about someone important to them.

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