To become a fashion genius, it is essential to possess the three *T’*s: talent, temerity, and timing. Claude Montana, the French designer, was abundant in all three.
During the 80s, Claude Montana’s passion for leather earned him a central position on the international fashion radar, and his knack for employing vivid colours, luxury materials and aggressive shapes put him at the forefront of high fashion. His creations matched the consumer mood of the time – budget wan’t an issue, and the more couture and high-energy his ready-to-wear looked and felt, the better.
Montana founded his label in 1979, having spent most of that decade flitting between London (where he made a name for himself creating papier-mâché jewellery covered in rhinestones) and Paris, his home, where he worked as an assistant at leather goods design-house Mac Douglas. His debut collection from the House of Montana was met with the kind of praise young designers’ dreams are made of, and won him an immediate fanbase of wealthy socialite women with a lust for complex construction and couture-like quality.