Before Miuccia started her own arts foundation, and before Chanel collaborated with Zaha Hadid, and before before before a lot of other things….there was Agnes. Agnes B, to be specific. This blog is dedicated to being a designer profile for one of the instigator’s of the fusion between culture and fashion. Agnes B certainly paved the way for other designers, giving herself cultural legitimacy and artistic street cred via her own outreaches into the arts. French designer Agnes B was born Agnes Trouble in Versailles 1941. She studied at Versaille’s Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Her first job was a junior editor at French Elle before becoming a designer, attachee-presse and buyer for Dorothee Bis in Paris. In the ‘60s she worked as a freelance designer and finally established the CMC (Comptoir Mondial de Creation), the holding company for her namesake label, Agnes B. In 1975 she opened her first boutique in a former butcher’s shop in Les Halles and featured restyled, cut and dyed workers’ uniforms and striped rugby shirts. She was of the first designers to explicitly seek out the “trend-setters” by producing simple and chic collections each season.
The quintessential Agnes B look is a crisp white shirt and a black wool skirt. She has since opened boutiques in the US, London, Amsterdam and Tokyo. But in the meantime… she also did tons of other interesting things!! In 1984 she opened the Galerie du Jour in Paris, and exhibited avant garde artists who worked on mediums such as graffiti (yes at the time that was innovative I swear!). There was also a library on the same street – rue du Jour – and eventually she also launched a periodical on contemporary art called Point d’ironie (which no does not mean ironic points but is French for question marks, or to be more specific and poetic, interrogation marks) . By 2006, Agnes B founded a production company called O’Salvation, and has granted funds to filmmakers such as Gaspar Noe and Clare Denis.