Cover Manfred Thierry Mugler in 2021 (Photo: Richard Bord/WireImage )

The French fashion designer and perfumer that dominated the ’80s and ’90s with his out-of-this-world motifs has passed away

The fashion world has lost another legendary designer, as Thierry Mugler died this morning at age 73. The news came via his official Instagram page, which shared a photo of a black square, along with a statement expressing that his soul “may rest in peace”. Information about the cause of death has not been released.

See more: Former Vogue Editor, André Leon Talley, Passes Away at 73

Mugler’s sophisticated, sexy and avant-garde take on tailoring shook the foundations of what womenswear could be, and his other-worldly creations influenced a whole generation of designers. Launching his first collection in Paris in 1973, fashion editor Melka Tréanton was responsible for fast-tracking his career.

By the ’80s, he was an internationally recognised designer and he explored all facets of inspiration: 1950s suits, sci-fi elements, unusual fabrics, aquatic creatures,  motorcycle details and alien features were not off the table for Mugler. His realm of imagination bled into the fantastical, and his runway shows reflected the dramatic yet playful nature of his clothing.


As a celebration of strong feminine figures, he often focused on including cinched waists, exaggerated shoulders and commandeering silhouettes in his collections. Mugler dressed icons such as Grace Jones, Jerry Hall and Diana Ross, and more recently, his archival pieces have been worn by the likes of Cardi B and Lady Gaga.

He left the fashion industry in 2002, choosing instead to focus on his successful line of perfumes, launching a beauty line and collaborating on larger projects such as designing costumes for Beyoncé and Cirque du Soleil. David Koma is the current creative director of the fashion house, which was shortened to Mugler in 2010.

Mugler came out of his hiatus on one occasion, and that was for Kim Kardashian, whom he designed a gown for the 2019 Met Gala. Inspired by Sophia Loren in Boy on a Dolphin, he created a stunning nude wet-look dress covered with crystal droplets.

See more: Met Gala 2021: Kim Kardashian’s ‘Outrageous’ Outfit, Let’s Talk About It


In recent years, Mugler took to transforming his appearance via bodybuilding and surgery, adopting a masculine figure and returning to his birth name Manfred. The changes came with undergoing facial reconstructive surgery due to number of accidents, including his desire to it a “fun” experience and inserting a piece of his hip in his chin, as well as an innate desire to become stronger.

In an interview with Tippi Hendren he said, “After years of being a thin, charming dancer, I wanted to be a warrior. I’ve done so much in my life. I’ve fought so much. I’m a superhero, so it’s normal to have the face of one.”

Mugler's designs are currently on display at the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs until April 24, in an exhibition called Thierry Mugler: Couturissime that explores the interplay of his creative alter egos.

The designer will be missed by the fashion community.


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