Last Updated: July 10, 2024
Richest BusinessDesigners
Net Worth:
$10 Million
Jan 21, 1905 - Oct 24, 1957 (52 years old)
Fashion designer, Designer, Costume designer
💰 Compare Christian Dior's Net Worth

What Was Christian Dior's Net Worth?

Christian Dior was a French fashion designer who had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death in 1957. Christian Dior was best known for being the founder of the Christian Dior fashion house.

Christian started out selling fashion sketches for 10 cents each outside of his house. He left school and opened a small art gallery with help from his father and sold art by Pablo Picasso and other artists. In 1937, he was employed by fashion designer Robert Piguet. Dior served in the army and then worked for Lucien Lelong. He started his own fashion house in 1946, and women protested his designs because they covered up their legs. Christian Dior's fashion house is now owned by Bernard Arnault's LVMH. Christian Dior passed away on October 23, 1957, at 52 years old.

Early Life

Christian Dior was born on January 21, 1905, in Granville, France. He was the second of five children born to Maurice Dior and Madeleine Martin. His father worked as a fertilizer manufacturer, and the family was relatively well-off. He grew up with his siblings Raymond, Jacqueline, Bernard, and Catherine. When Christian was five years old, the family moved to Paris but returned to Granville for the summer. Dior's family had originally hoped he would become a diplomat, but he expressed artistic ability from a young age. He began selling his fashion sketches early on. In 1928, before finishing his studies, his father gave him some money to finance a small art gallery. The gallery was successful until it closed three years later as the family ran into financial trouble during the Great Depression.


In 1937, Dior was employed by the fashion designer Robert Piguet. He was able to design three Piguet collections. One of his designs, a full skirt called "Café Anglais," was particularly well-received. While working at Piguet, Christian worked alongside Pierre Balmain, another designer. Dior left the brand when he was called up for military service.

Christian left the military in 1942 and then joined the fashion house Lucien Lelong. While there, he and Balmain were the primary designers. He continued working for Lelong for the duration of World War II. In order to preserve the French fashion industry during wartime for economic and artistic reasons, Dior designed dresses for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. Other fashion houses remained in business during the war by doing the same thing. On a personal level, Dior's sister Catherine was a member of the French Resistance. She was captured by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp, where she was incarcerated until her liberation in May 1945. In 1947, Dior named his debut fragrance "Miss Dior" in tribute to his sister.

Christian Dior

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In 1946, Dior was invited to design for Philippe et Gaston, a Paris fashion house launched in 1925. Marcel Boussac, one of the richest men in France at the time, had extended the invitation. After Christian refused, Boussac agreed to back Dior in creating his own fashion house. He founded the house on December 16, 1946. Christian named the line of his collection "Corolle," and it was presented on February 12, 1947. The editor-in-chief of "Harper's Bazaar," Carmel Snow, coined the phrase "New Look" for the collection. The term described the refined and crystallized trends in skirt shape and waistline that had been developing in high fashion since the late 1930s that Dior had managed to put his own spin on in the collection. His designs were more voluptuous than the more boxy shapes of the prior styles.

Christian developed a reputation for creating masterful shapes and silhouettes. His designs often incorporated bustier-styled bodices, hip padding, corsets, and petticoats. Many of his designs had a very modern curvy form for the time that women of the decade really enjoyed. However, his designs did not originally receive so much positive attention, considering the amount of fabric used in his designs. At the time, there were fabric shortages due to the war and so he faced some backlash initially. However, as the war ended, more and more women began wearing his designs and raving about them.

Dior's "New Look" line revolutionized women's fashion in Paris. It also reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world after World War II. It also firmly solidified Dior's place in the high fashion world. Every year following, Christian released a newly-titled line that was heavily covered in the fashion press. Some of these lines include the Envol line, the Mid-Century line, the Naturelle line, the Tulipe Line, and the Fuseau line, among many others. He was honored at the 1955 Academy Awards for Best Costume Design in black and white for the "Terminal Station" directed by Vittorio De Sica.

In 1955, Dior hired 19-year-old Yves Saint Laurent to be his fashion design assistant. He met with Yves Saint Laurent's mother, Lucienne Mathieu-Saint Laurent, in 1957. Christian told her that he had chosen Saint Laurent to succeed him at Dior. At the time, she was confused by the comment, as Christian was only 52 years old when this conversation occurred. The comment would prove to be useful, though, as he died shortly thereafter.

Dior left a huge legacy in the fashion world. In 1967, after his death, he was nominated for a BAFTA for Best British Costume for the "Arabesque." He received subsequent other nominations for costume designs at other awards shows.

Personal Life and Death

Christian Dior had a number of discreet male lovers throughout his life. He was in a relationship with Jacques Benita, a North African singer who was thirty years younger than him, at the time of his death in 1957. Dior died of a sudden heart attack while on vacation in Montecatini, Italy, during a game of cards.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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