Thierry Mugler

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Thierry Mugler
Born (1948-12-21) 21 December 1948 (age 70)
Strasbourg, France
OccupationFashion designer, perfume designer
Known forAngel fragrance, perfumes

Manfred Thierry Mugler (French pronunciation: ​[tjɛʁi myɡle]; born 21 December 1948) is a French fashion designer.

Early life and education[edit]

Mugler was born in Strasbourg, France. His passion led him to focus more on drawing than on school,[citation needed] and at the age of 9, he began to study classical dance.[1] By 14, he joined the ballet corps for the Rhin Opera (Opéra national du Rhin).[2]

At the same time, Mugler began formal interior design training at the Strasbourg School of Decorative Arts.[citation needed]


At the age of 24, Mugler moved to Paris, France. He began designing clothes for Parisian boutique, Gudule. At 26, Mugler, who was working as a freelance designer, began to design for a variety of large ready-to-wear fashion houses in Paris, Milan, London and Barcelona.[citation needed]

In 1973, Mugler created his first personal collection called "Café de Paris". The style of the collection was both sophisticated and urban. Melka Tréanton, a powerful fashion editor, helped to launch his career. In 1976, she asked him to show his work in Tokyo for an event organized by Shiseido.[3] In 1978, he opened his first Paris boutique at the Place des Victoires in the 1er Arrondissement). At the same time, Thierry Mugler launched a fashion collection for men. For this collection, he reworked classical masculinity, giving it a definitively modern style. A clean, precise, structured cut which outlined a highly recognizable silhouette: prominent shoulders, both "anatomical and classic", for a dynamically slender look.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Thierry Mugler became an internationally recognized designer, and his collections garnered much commercial success. At the request of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, he completed his first haute couture collection in 1992.[citation needed]

He created the famous black dress worn by Demi Moore in the 1993 movie, Indecent Proposal.

An evening dress by Thierry Mugler in an Indianapolis Museum of Art exhibit
A dress by Thierry Mugler in an Indianapolis Museum of Art exhibit

His clothes are identified by their style and their structure. Mugler, over the next two decades created a style that was very much of its time: it was strong, angular, and sometimes almost cruel. Shoulders were wide and padded; waists were wasp-like. Prints were banished: Mugler’s clothes came in solid, dominating colors. Collars had exaggerated points, or flame-like cutouts. The insect kingdom was a constant influence, as were the ladies and gentlemen of film noir. PVC was often used as his material for his runway pieces, used to create space and robot themes.[4]

Mugler published his first photography book in 1988, Thierry Mugler, Photographe.[citation needed] This was followed by a monograph in 1999 entitled, Fashion Fetish Fantasy which assembles photos of his creations.

Mugler also directs short films, advertising films and video clips. He regularly designs costumes for musical comedies, concerts, operas and the theatre (including Macbeth for the Comédie Française). He has worked with Robert Altman and George Michael (he directed the video for Michael's "Too Funky" in 1992). He also directed the first advertising film for one of his fragrances, Alien.

Clarins has held the rights to his name Thierry Mugler since 1997.[5]

Retirement from Fashion[edit]

Clarins shuttered the ready-to-wear component of Mugler's brand in 2003, due to financial losses, however they kept the perfume division open as it was profitable.[6] Mugler left fashion in 2002.[7] When asked about the subject he has said "Fashion is beautiful, 3-D art on a human being. But it wasn’t enough, which is why I went on to create in other ways. For me, it wasn’t the right tool anymore. But perfume still interests me."[8]

In 2002 Mugler collaborated with the Cirque du Soleil. He directed "Extravaganza", one of the scenes of Zumanity, and also created all of the costumes and the identity of the characters in the show.

In 2008 the Mugler brand launched Thierry Mugler Beauty, a high-end line of cosmetics.

In 2009, Mugler worked as artistic advisor to singer Beyoncé.[9] He created the costumes for her "I Am... World Tour".[2]

In September 2010 Nicola Formichetti was announced to be the Creative Director of the Thierry Mugler brand. He changed the brand name to MUGLER, removing the first name, and in January 2011 he launched the revival of the brand's menswear collection in collaboration with Romain Kremer.[10]

An April 2010 New York Times story discussed Mugler's cosmetic transformation. "[Mugler has] taken to calling himself Manfred and transformed his body...into what is apparently a 240-pound spectacle of muscle and nipple and tattoo..."[5]

With over two years of being the creative director of MUGLER, Formichetti announced in April 2013 that he and the fashion house will be parting ways. Formichetti left MUGLER in to work for the Italian brand Diesel.

In December 2013, House of Mugler announced David Koma as the artistic director.[11]

In 2016, Mugler created and directed the music video and staging for San Marino's Eurovision Song Contest entry I Didn't Know performed by Turkish singer Serhat.[12]


Angel for men (A*Men)

Mugler’s first perfume appeared in 1992 and was called Angel. "Angel" contains a combination of praline and chocolate mixed with a strong accord of patchouli. It would be a part of a new fragrance type called gourmand. The Angel bottle, a design in the shape of a faceted star, was created by the Brosse Master Glassmakers. Fans of the fragrance include Diana Ross, Barbara Walters, Eva Mendes, and Hillary Clinton.[13]

In 1996 Mugler followed up Angel with a male version named Angel Men or A*Men. This fragrance includes notes of caramel, coffee, vanilla, patchouli, and honey.

In 2005, Alien was created, the second major Thierry Mugler fragrance. Also in 2005, Thierry Mugler launched the Thierry Mugler Perfume Workshops", which are open to the general public and led by specialists of the perfumery and oenology world.

Angel and Alien together produce about $280 million in sales annually.[14]

In 2010, the fragrance Womanity was released by the house of Mugler.[15]

Mugler's newest fragrance, Angel Muse, was released in 2015.

In 2006, Thierry Mugler completed a project for the launch of Tom Tykwer's film "Perfume". In collaboration with the IFF company, Thierry Mugler created a box set of fifteen compositions.

During 2007, still following the metamorphosis theme, Mugler launched Mirror, Mirror, a collection of five fragrances, created as "perfume-trickery" to "enhance one’s presence".

Personal life[edit]

Mugler is openly gay, and is a longtime bodybuilder.[16] Since his departure from fashion he has become notably reclusive, during this time he began going by his first name, Manfred, and began extensive bodybuilding. Speaking on the subject Thierry-Maxime Loriot has said, “He told me that after he left the fashion industry, it annoyed him when people recognized him. He felt ‘Thierry Mugler’ was a label, a brand. He wanted to move on to other things.”[7]


  1. ^ Menkes, Suzy (16 July 2019). "Manfred Thierry Mugler: Back in Fashion". British Vogue. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b ""Press Room | Cirque du Soleil". Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Window Display Exhibition in Paris to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Shiseido Cosmetics Sales in France" (PDF) (Press release). 19 August 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Wilson, Eric (30 April 2010). "Thierry Mugler, a Designer Transformed". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Thierry Mugler bids au revoir to couture. (News)". European Cosmetic Markets. 20, Issue 2. February 2003 – via Gale OneFile.
  7. ^ a b Flanagan, Noreen (1 March 2019). "An Exclusive Interview with Fashion's OG Bad Boy, the Mysterious Manfred Thierry Mugler". FASHION Magazine. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  8. ^ Long, April (28 October 2017). "Thierry Mugler Glances Back At His Fantastical Past". ELLE. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  9. ^ Thierry Mugler to Design Beyonce Tour Archived 12 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine Marie Claire, 2008. Accessed 29 May 2013.
  10. ^ Menkes, Suzy. "On top of the world". New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  11. ^ Socha, Miles (12 December 2013). "Thierry Mugler Names David Koma Artistic Director". WWD. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  12. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (9 March 2016). "San Marino: Serhat presents "I Didn't Know"". Archived from the original on 20 June 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Wilson, Eric (30 April 2010). "Thierry Mugler, Still Creating a Stir". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Thierry Mugler". 6 April 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2019.

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