5 September 1891|
|Died||23 March 1974
Born in London to Justin Molyneux and Lizzy Kenny, Edward Molyneux attended Beaumont College, a Roman Catholic preparatory school. Owing to the death of his father, he dropped out at the age of 16 to pursue his ambitions as a painter and illustrator. After a period working for the British fashion designer Lucile, Molyneux opened his fashion house in Paris at 14 rue Royale in 1919 (later, 5 rue Royale), expanding to Monte Carlo in 1925, Cannes in 1927, and London in 1932, becoming known for his "never too rich or too thin" idle slim "refined at the edge of outrageous" look, frowning on superfluous decoration, and going on to dress European royalty like Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, British high society, actresses Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Gertrude Lawrence, Margaret Leighton, and Vivien Leigh, and interior decorator Syrie Maugham. His followers included Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain. He was friends with Noël Coward. "The designer to whom a fashionable woman would turn if she wanted to be absolutely right without being utterly predictable" (Caroline Milbank).
During World War II, he moved his firm to London for the duration of the conflict and returned to Paris in 1946. In 1965, he came out of retirement, Time magazine described him as "the Parisian equivalent of Manhattan's Mainbocher, a classicist devoted to the soft look and tailored line." 
Though he retired in 1950 to take up painting, leaving his fashion house in the hands of designer Jacques Griffe, Molyneux returned to fashion in 1964, when he opened Studio Molyneux, a high quality ready-to-wear line that received mixed reviews. He retired again in 1969, but Studio Molyneux continued under the direction of his cousin John Tullis until it closed in 1977.
The Molyneux trademark is owned by French company Parfums Berdoues, and though the fashion component of the firm remains dormant, the firm still produces scents, such as Captain (1975), Quartz (1978), Le Chic, Vivre, I Love You and Quartz Pure Red (2008).
Molyneux was of Irish and French Huguenot ancestry. He served as an infantry captain with the Duke of Wellington Regiment in the British army during World War I, during which time he lost an eye in battle. In 1923, though said to be openly homosexual, he married his first wife (Jessie) Muriel Dunsmuir (1890–1951), one of the eight daughters of the Hon. James Dunsmuir, Premier of British Columbia. They divorced in 1924.
Molyneux painted throughout his life and exhibitions of his paintings were held at the Galerie Weill in Paris (between 1950–1956) and at the Hammer Galleries in New York (1967). Here, 'Carnations in Vase' was purchased by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and 'Roses in Glass' by Greta Garbo.
Molyneux's Uncle, Maj. Edward Mary Joseph Molyneux, during his years in the Himalayan Valley of Kashmir, painted many scenes of the capital city of Srinagar and other areas which inspired him. The paintings were published in a book title Kashmir accompanied by descriptions of the Valley by Francis Younghusband.
Captain Molyneux also amassed an extensive Impressionist art collection, including paintings by Picasso, Monet, Manet and 17 by Renoir. They were sold as a 'lot' to Ailsa Mellon Bruce, who bestowed the entire collection upon the National Gallery of Art.
- Edward Molyneux at the Fashion Model Directory
- Sewing patterns by Molyneux
- "Interactive timeline of couture houses and couturier biographies". Victoria and Albert Museum.
- "The Gallery - Molyneux, Edward (1891-1974)". thegallery.uk.com.