Born in Paris in 1887, Jean Patou founded his house in 1914, at the age of 23.
His first creations are inspired by his travels in the Balkans and in the East. The young fashion designer intends to free the woman from the rigors of dress imposed until then.
He markets dresses without corsets, shortens the skirts, and launches a sport line made to be worn in town. He invented the monogram, slipping his initials "JP" on jersey swimsuits. Celebrities of the time wore her designs such as Louise Brooks, Joséphine Baker, Mistinguett, and Suzanne Lenglen.
In 1936, Jean Patou died of a stroke at the age of 48. After his death, Madeleine Patou, her sister, and Raymond Barbas, her husband, took over the reins of the house, but without its founder, the Jean Patou label lost its aura. Several big names in fashion have taken up the creative torch after the death of Jean Patou: Marc Bohan, Karl Lagerfeld, Michel Goma, Jean Paul Gaultier, Angelo Tarlazzi and Christian Lacroix.
After the passage of Christian Lacroix, the fashion house was put on hold in 1987. In 2018, the Jean Patou house was bought by the LVMH group, which appointed Guillaume Henry as artistic director.
Guillaume Henry joined the Beaux-Arts de Troyes before studying fashion at the Duperré school, then at the French Fashion Institute. He began his career at Givenchy then worked for Paule Ka, for Carven (artistic director) and for Nina Ricci (as creative director).
In 2018, he became artistic director of the Maison Jean Patou, which became “Patou”. He presented his first collection during Paris Fashion Week in September 2019. At Patou, he developed a couture-inspired feminine ready-to-wear with a delicate and accessible style, joyful and refined, with the desire to dress real women, his friends, his collaborators, the women he meets, those who inspire him. For them, Patou must be easy to approach and to carry. Guillaume Henry thinks of fashion as an art of living, always on the move. "Elegance, beauty, fine art and fantasy, I have never attached more than these four labels to my collections" said Jean Patou. Guillaume Henry is the heir of this philosophy.