French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler, whose dramatic designs were worn by celebrities like Madonna, Lady Gaga and Cardi B, has died. He was 73.
He died Sunday, his official Instagram account said. “May his soul Rest In Peace,” it said in a post that was all black with no image. It did not give a cause of death.
Mugler, who launched his brand in 1973, became known for his architectural style, defined by broad shoulders and a tiny waist. The use of plastic-like futuristic fabric in his sculpted clothing became a trademark.
He defined haute couture over several decades, dressing up Diana Ross and Beyoncé at galas, on red carpets and runways.
His designs weren’t shy about being outlandish, at times resembling robotic suits with protruding cone shapes. Mugler also had a popular perfume line, which he started in the 1990s.
The fashion world filled with an outpouring of sympathy. Bella Hadid, an American model, said “Nonononono,” followed by an image of a sad face, while American actress January Jones responded with a heart mark, from their official Instagram accounts.
Besides clothes, Mugler created films and photographs, and was a dancer, acrobat as well as avid body-builder, stressing he always wanted to explore the human body as art.
“I’ve always felt like a director, and the clothes I did were a direction of the everyday,” Mugler told Interview Magazine.
Mugler stressed the human body as art with his sculpted designs. Launching his brand in 1973, Mugler became known for his theatrical style that was featured at galas, on red carpets and runways.
He retired from the Thierry Mugler label in 2003, telling Elle magazine in 2017 that he had decided, “Fashion is beautiful, 3-D art on a human being. But it wasn’t enough, which is why I went on to create in other ways. For me, it wasn’t the right tool anymore.”
He continued the Thierry Mugler perfume line, producing fragrances that have sold more than $200 million annually. He also directed music videos and a ballet staged in Berlin. Meanwhile, Mugler created costumes for Beyoncé’s 2008 “I Am … ” world tour and for stage productions. He also designed Kim Kardashian’s 2019 Met Gala outfit.
“I’m very proud of — what can I call it? — the science that we put into fashion,” he told Elle. “That special body-conscious cut that influenced the whole fashion world.”
David Morgan contributed to this report.