Fashion / Style

The life and legacy of Manfred Thierry Mugler

Manfred Thierry Mugler

Ahead of his time. He was the designer who revolutionised the phenomenon of celebrities-as-models, 80s power dressing, and a legacy best remembered by some of the most barrier-breaking couture in history, Manfred Thierry Mugler was a master of the meeting of fashion and culture like no other. The French-born designer has passed away at age 73, according to Mugler's official Instagram account.

“We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr. Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022. May his soul Rest in Peace,” said a message on the @manfredthierrymugler account, accompanied by a black square.

Mugler was at the helm of exaggerated 80s silhouettes and the introduction of fetishwear, leather, and latex within the mainstream fashion landscape. Most famed for his inverse triangular couture structures, his pieces have transcended time and trend cycles as pieces of art and architecture, going on to act as early influences for designers like Alexander McQueen and artists like Lady Gaga.

Born in Strasbourg, France, Mugler got his start in fashion in London, where he was influenced by the Swinging Sixties aesthetic of the time before relocating to Paris, drawn in by designers like Cristóbal Balenciaga and Christian Dior who influenced his now iconic streamlined silhouettes and body-hugging designs.

During his career, his early muses included Grace Jones, Joey Arias, David Bowie, Pat Cleveland, and more contemporary cultural icons like Cardi B, Beyoncé, and Kim Kardashian West (most famously being responsible for her 2019 Met Gala wet-look dress).

Officially retiring from fashion in 2002 when Clarins shuttered his ready to wear brand, Mugler remained in the perfume business with his iconic fragrance Angel, previously stating, "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".

In 2010, the brand returned solely as Mugler, where Manfred returned to the brand as creative advisor in 2013. Creative director Casey Cadwallader currently sits at the helm of the brand, stating, “Manfred, I am so honored to have known you and to work within your beautiful world. You changed our perception of beauty, of confidence, of representation, and self empowerment. Your legacy is something I carry with me in everything I do. Thank you.”

A pioneer of silhouette and a leader of theatrics within the fashion landscape, Mugler punched through the boundaries that the industry had in place and breathed life - the very definition of camp hot on his breath - into fashion again. Imbuing beauty, confidence, and one-of-a-kind craftsmanship into everything he touched. His theatric, otherworldly legacy will live on today and every day.

Below, are some of our favourite Mugler moments throughout history.

For the Thierry Mugler 20th anniversary, 1994.


Jerry Hall wearing Thierry Mugler.


Lady Gaga in Thierry Mugler for her Telephone music video.


Linda Evangelista for the 20th Anniversary runway show, 1994.


Pat Cleveland for Thierry Mugler's 10th anniversary show, 1984.


Thierry Mugler couture show, SS97.



Helena Christensen in Thierry Mugler Haute Couture.


Iman in Thierry Mugler, 1986.


A Mugler runway, 1983.


Mugler Winter of Angels show, 1984.


SS99 haute couture runway.


Beyoncé wearing Mugler for the I Am tour, 2009.


Cardi B wearing the 20th anniversary dress originally created in 1995, worn by Simonetta Gianfelici


Mugler FW1979-80 collection.


Kim Kardashian wearing her custom wet-look Mugler dress to the 2019 Met Gala.


Pat Cleveland for Mugler FW1982.


Simonetta Gianfelici for Mugler's 20th anniversary runway show.


The famed Mugler Bride.


David Bowie in Mugler.


Images: 1, 2.

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