Though best known for his landmark woman’s fragrance, Joy (which in 1929 was marketed as the “most costly perfume in the world”), Jean Patou’s far-reaching influence can be found in everything from the cardigan to women’s sportswear (like the tennis skirt) to his famous cubist sweaters.
But the most enduring part of the French designer’s legacy may be his contribution to men’s fashion. In the 1920s, Patou created the first designer tie, cutting patterns from silk fabrics historically reserved for womenswear. His innovation turned the accessory — which before then was more of an afterthought — into a focal point for a man’s attire, influencing future tiemakers from Christian Dior to Paul Smith.
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