The Lanvin house was founded in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin, making it the oldest French fashion house still in activity.
Lanvin was first of all its creator Jeanne Lanvin, born in the capital in 1867. The eldest of a modest family of eleven children, she entered the age of 16 with a milliner, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
The girl quickly decides to open a hat shop nearby, in an attic room. Four years later, in 1889, she returned to the very prestigious rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to set up her fashion house there. The success is immediate.
In 1897 Jeanne gave birth to a daughter Marguerite Marie-Blanche, for whom she had a deep love. "It is to amaze her that thread by needle, she will amaze the world", wrote the woman of letters Louise de Vilmorin.
Marguerite becomes a source of inspiration for Jeanne, who designs a luxurious wardrobe for her.
The designer "invents a fluid and graceful silhouette that gives women a girlish look", underlines Elisabeth Barillé in her book "Lanvin".
Determined, Jeanne Lanvin joined the syndicate of Parisian couture in 1909. From the status of simple milliner, she goes to that of "seamstress".
Worker, gifted for business, she gradually built an empire, offering clothing, furs, lingerie, sportswear and even decorative items. The idea is to build a refined universe.
Fascinated by colors - we speak of "Lanvin blue" - she acquired a dye studio.
During the Roaring Twenties, the Lanvin house had 23 workshops and nearly 800 employees. Jeanne Lanvin does not forget to dress men. She was the first to create a custom clothing line for them in 1926.
When Jeanne died in 1946, her daughter became president of the Lanvin house until her death in 1958.
Little anecdote, the Lanvin logo, which is the oldest logo of French fashion houses, represents Jeanne Lanvin dancing with her daughter Marguerite.