Manfred Thierry Mugler Was a Fashion Game Changer

The fashion world lost another of its most influential figures yesterday with the passing of French fashion designer and couturier Manfred Thierry Mugler.

His passing was announced in a post by the official Mugler Instagram account: “It is with deep sadness that the House of Mugler announces the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler. A visionary whose imagination as a couturier, perfumer and image-maker empowered people around the world to be bolder and dream bigger every day.”

Once a ballet dancer, Mugler was a key player in the high-octane fashion scene of the ‘80s and ’90s. He was the primary proponent of the broad-shouldered, cinched-waist silhouette that came to dominate the era, and found muses that fit his vision: Texan supermodel Jerry Hall was in his circle, as was pop star Grace Jones. “Thierry Mugler. His talent was everything,” said costume designer Arianne Phillips on Instagram. “Delicious, chic, perverse and beautiful. A true culture shifter.”

To younger generations, Mugler will probably be best remembered for his enormously popular fragrances Angel and Alien, his work with Beyonce during her Sasha Fierce period, and for his perfectly cultivated “muscle man” physique. More recently, Mugler dressed Kim Kardashian at the 2019 Met Gala. Those who attended his runway shows will remember him as a true fashion game changer—a gifted couturier with a knack for conjuring glamour and an acute understanding of how best to accentuate the female form.


Beyond his groundbreaking womenswear, Mugler also launched a dedicated men’s line, which specialised in sharp-shouldered, zoot-style suits. He designed clothes for David Bowie and he both dressed and directed the cast for George Michael’s Too Funky music video in 1992. Through it all, he championed of the LGBTQ+ community both on his runways and in his campaigns.

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