Inès de la Fressange(Inès, Marie, Laetitia, Eglantine, Isabelle de Seignard de La Fressange) was born on august, 11th of 1957 at Gassin, near Saint-Tropez, in the Var, France.
From an old French aristocratic family of the lord of La Fressange, native of Velay in Auvergne, (central mountainous area of France). She grew up in an 18th century mill outside Paris with three brothers. Her grandmother was Madame Simone Jacquinot, heiress to the Lazard banking fortune.and her uncle, Hubert de la Fressange, was killed on October 2nd of 1944 as he was fighting for freedom of France in the 1st regiment of marching morrocan spahis in the 2nd DB.
She went in the school of Institution de la Tournelle at Courgent, then at Institut Notre Dame at Mantes-la-Jolie in the Yvelines, then after at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris where she passed the baccalauréat.
She began her modeling career in 1974; some gave her the nickname of “the talking model”.
In 1975, she appeared for the first time in the Elle magazine on photos taken by Oliviero Toscani, then walked runway for Thierry Mugler, and some of the most famous fashion designers.
From 1983 to 1989, Karl Lagerfeld chosen her to be the egery of Chanel haute couture House, thinking of her physical resemblance with Coco Chanel..
She is the first model to sign an exclusive contract with a haute couture house, and one of the first model to be given a lot of media coverage.
She is chosen to be the model for the bust of Marianne (symbol of the French nation in every town hall). Because of her contract with Chanel, Lagerfeld declared :”I don’t want to dress a monument, it is so vulgar!” In spite of this, she did posed as the Marianne and her contract with Chanel was quashed.
In 1990, she married Luigi d’Urso, a famous Italian business man and art dealer, at Tarascon.
Two daughters were born, Nine in 1994 and Violette in 1999.
In 1991, she made her own brand, “Inès de La Fressange” and her shop selling luxury goods, ready to wear, and perfume at 14 of avenue Montaigne, in partnership with Louis Vuitton group. It was an immediate success, especially in France, U.S.A. and Japan.
In December 1999, she is dismissed from her own company in which she had not majority holding.
She tried to get the right of use of her name and image, but after five years of judiciary fighting, she loosed.
In 2002, she wrote with the Marie-Claire journalist Marianne Mairesse, her autobiography:” Profession mannequin” published by Hachette.
She collaborated with Parisian designer Bruno Fissoni to relaunch the Roger Vivier’s haute couture shoes, for which she became art director then chairman.
Her husband died of a mild heart attack in 2006.
Inès de la Fressange supports the Orphelinats d’Afrique association and is the sponsor of Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque which help children from poor countries to be operate for heart in France. (translation from Wikipédia fr, personal scans)
Thanks for posting Spiral1532, I especially liked the one where she is beside the bust of Marianne as Brigitte Bardot.
And "merci", Taz, for the beautifuls close-up of the "Coco" ads. I agree with you, and those classy, dazzlingly beautiful and elegant at the same models were ladies.
Chrystelle Saint-Louis Augustin, had it too and Lucie de la Falaise, of course...
A "french (aristocratic) touch"?
I especially loved her Chanel and the Coco ads...so divine. She really has exquisite features as well as magical eyes. I loved when she was Marianne. There was a beautiful photo of her with a small crown from that time...I'll see if I can find it to add here.