Jean-Paul Gaultier has announced his retirement after a prolific, 50-year career in fashion. The irreverent French designer took to Instagram to reveal that his next Paris haute couture fashion show will be his last. Watch the announcement below.
“I’m going to share something with you,” he said in a mock phone conversation, “This will be my last haute couture show. My last Gaultier Paris show. You have to come, you can’t miss that.”
Gaultier founded his eponymous fashion label in 1982. He’s best known for his ready-to-wear label and couture collections of the ’80s, ’90s, and mid-’00s, as well as his seven-year tenure as creative director of Hermès.
For many, he’s the designer who put Madonna in a conical bra and the trailblazer who welcomed “all shapes, sizes, and sexualities” on his catwalk long before it was admissible. He’s also newly familiar to a younger generation thanks to his 2019 collaboration with Supreme.
Gaultier learned his trade under Pierre Cardin and showed his first collection in 1976. A young Martin Margiela was watching the show and later told Vogue, “I was seized by an excitement I had never felt before.” Nine years later, Gaultier hired Margiela as an assistant.
Gaultier, 67, stopped designing ready-to-wear clothes in 2015 to focus on haute couture. He has reportedly clarified that his high-end fashion and perfume business will continue, but he will take a step back from designing garments.
Gaultier’s final show will take place at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on January 22.