In the years of a very intensive work, Dior’s influence was shown in the silhouette that was dominant in the different versions – even not all the designers joined. His maison earned the status of a Paris landmark and Dior himself became one of the five best-known international celebrities receiving thousands of letters from all over the world. Such accomplishments were the consequence of his business ventures whose foundations were built on the rigorous financial calculations. He demanded acquirement of an exceptionally high standard for himself as well as his employees in pursuit of the realization of his dreams. Dior used to speak at the trade fairs and the lecture halls for the defence of couture: “In a century which attempts to tear the heart of every mystery, fashion guards its secret well. (…) Couture is the best possible proof that there is a magic abroad” – he would say – “In the world today haute couture is one of the last repositories of the marvellous.”
In October 1948 he opened his shop in New York and in 1950 a special department for his business ventures. The output from his mansion was more than a half the total exports profits for the entire Paris couture industry: the representatives of the department stores around the world were paying a large deposits for their seats in Dior’s salon, even the wholesalers might purchase the rights to his designs. A couturier ended up dressing the world.
Dior’s intention had never been to design for everyone. On the beginning of his career, he explained that he will design for „a clientele of really elegant women“. That was the pure elitism: rare was the woman from a higher rank of the society in the late 1940’s and 1950’s who did not own at least one piece of Dior couture. Dior himself divided his clients into categories: a) the woman who is insane for dresses, b) the woman who is never contented, c) the woman who does not know what she wants, and d) the perfect client, who know what she wants and how much she can pay for it.
„Every model is the subject of a detailed dossier, stating the hours of work spent on it, the cost of the work done by hand and the price of the material. By adding to this a percentage of the overheads, taxes and the necessary amount of profit, one gets a very good idea of the price at which the dresses ought to be sold.“
Vogue wrote that Dior had sure taste in all that he touched – Dior collections were expanding not only to the clothes, hats, furs and corsets, but to the scent, jewellery, gloves, stockings and many more. Dior saw that as „an extension of the good manners, that every woman should be able to glean a little Dior magic“. He wrote: „I wanted a woman to be able to leave the boutique dressed by it from head to foot, even carrying a present for her husband in her hand“. That was the well recognized grey box with the white ribbon. Maison Christian Dior became a dream which now everyone could buy into.
In 1957 Dior published a book translated in English as „Dior by Dior“ (in original: Christian Dior et moi) in which he divided Dior, known as a couturier, and Christian Dior, born in Granville on January 21, 1905.
„I am speaking now of Christian Dior, couturier, of Maison Christian Dior, 30 Avenue Montaigne, born 1947. It was in order to tell the truth about this second nine-year-old Dior that the first Christian Dior decided to write this book. He had been the subject of quite enough inaccurate discussion already, and I felt it was time to let the world know the real facts about him.“
On October 23*, 1957 at 30 Avenue Montaigne the windows were draped in black velvet: the life of the couturier ended at the age of 52. That unexpected event made the whole empire an orphant. The future of it was a matter of the national importance to the French. Within his closest colleagues was decided for Yves Saint Laurent to become the head of Maison Dior. He released “Trapeze” line in January 1958 and accomplished a great success. Build on the solid foundations, Dior empire was becoming bigger than ever.
* In the book is stated that the date of his death is the 29th of October, but a couple of other sources claim it was the 23th of October.