Christian Dior Created Beautiful Fashion. He Also Knew How to Sell It.

When Christian Dior first visited New York in 1947, he came as a celebrity. The French couturier had debuted his era-defining “New Look” collection earlier that year in Paris. Neiman Marcus awarded him the industry’s top prize of the time, the Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion. He set out on a cross-country trip, zig-zagging the states from New York to Dallas and Arizona, hitting Hollywood movie sets and San Francisco. He loved it, later remarking, “I feel like a genuine American courtier in New York, just as I am a genuine French courtier in Paris.”

Dior’s cinched waists and long hemlines, which he meant to reference an elegant, forgotten glamour and counter the era’s militaristic styles, were lauded by celebrities and the press. But not everyone was friendly. A group of women, dubbed “The just-below-the knee club,” picketed outside of his hotel room in Chicago, bearing signs

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