Dior Milestone: Building a Classic

With its soft quilted leather, modernist hardware and feminine proportions, the Lady Dior bag is a piece of fashion iconography.
The bag — created in 1994 — has outlasted trends, a shuffling of artistic directors at the famed fashion house, and changes in global spending power. Its price tag, about $4,000, also helps isolate the bag from lightning-fast changes in fashion and the economy.
Dior chief executive officer Sidney Toledano was responsible for the bag’s inception. He said of the design: “We worked with the team to create a haute couture bag that needed to have all the codes of Dior in terms of shape, design and something with a strong identity.”
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton ceo Bernard Arnault hired Toledano from French leather goods brand Lancel to spearhead the bag’s creation. At the time, Dior did not have its own in-house leather goods operation. With a small team, Toledano created a laboratory that devised the bag in three months’ time.
Toledano and his team worked independently of Dior’s then-artistic director Gianfranco Ferré, though they did take care to incorporate some of the Italian designers hallmarks — such as the cannage quilting pattern that Ferré often applied to ready-to-wear.
The team didn’t want to

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