Last Updated: March 1, 2024
Richest BusinessDesigners
Net Worth:
$300 Million
Apr 24, 1952 (72 years old)
Fashion designer, Costume designer, Actor
💰 Compare Jean-Paul Gaultier's Net Worth
Table of ContentsExpand
  1. Early Life
  2. Career
  3. Personal Life

What is Jean-Paul Gaultier's net worth?

Jean-Paul Gaultier is a French fashion designer and creative director who has a net worth of $300 million. Jean-Paul Gaultier never received formal training in fashion design and instead sent sketches to stylists he admired. Pierre Cardin was one of the first major designers to recognize his talents. Pierre was so impressed with Gaultier's drawings that he hired him as an assistant. Gaultier then went on to work for Jacques Esterel and Jean Patou and then returned to work for Pierre Cardin. Gaultier launched his first individual collection in 1976. By the early 80s, he was receiving acclaim from fashion magazine editors. He introduced the world to what is now known as the 'man-skirt' and the infamous cone bra worn by Madonna.

In the late eighties, Gaultier introduced Junior Gaultier, a lower-priced line for young people. By the mid-nineties, the label changed to JPG by Gaultier. In the late nineties, Gaultier generated success from his Haute Couture line. As a result of the success of his high fashion line, Gaultier was hired by Hermes as the Creative Director in 2003 and remained in the position until 2010. Gaultier has also designed costumes in motion pictures including the Fifth Element, which starred Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Chris Tucker, Tommy Lister and Gary Oldman. He also designed costumes worn by Marilyn Manson, Madonna (for the Blond Ambition and 2006 Confessions tour) and Kylie Minogue.

As well as being a popular designer, Jean-Paul has also a highly successful perfume range. In the early nineties, he launched his first perfume for women, Classique. He then launched La Male for men. Both fragrances were proven to be successful. La Male is currently one of the best-selling perfumes in Europe and is also very popular in Australia and the US.

Early Life

Jean-Paul Gaultier was born on April 24, 1952, in Arcueil, France, a southern suburb of Paris. His mother worked as a clerk, while his father was an accountant. His maternal grandmother, Marie Garrabe, introduced him to the world of fashion at a young age. While he never received formal training in design, he did enjoy sketching designs and began sending them to famous couture stylists while in his teen years. By 1970, he was hired by designer Pierre Cardin as an assistant. By the following year, Cardin sent him to Manila to manage his boutique there. He stayed there until 1974, at which time he returned to France.


Gaultier also began working on his own designs in the mid-1970s. He released his first individual collection in 1976. While many people found his designs to be very decadent and over the top, they also received praise from fashion editors from publications like "Elle" and "Marie Claire" who were impressed by his creativity and mastery of tailoring. He began incorporating increasingly nontraditional materials into his designs. In 1980, he designed women's dresses out of plastic trash bags, among other examples.

In 1982, Gaultier founded his eponymous fashion label. The following year, he released the "Boy Toy" collection for men. His popularity grew to the point that his garments were being offered for sale at the prestigious department store Bergdorf Goodman in New York by 1984. The same year, he introduced his line of skirts for men at Paris and New York Fashion Week. He also introduced the iconic women's corset with cone bra.

By 1985, his company was generating $50 million in annual revenue.

In addition to his ready-to-wear collection, he also expanded his brand in 1988 to include the label Junior Gaultier, which featured lower-priced products. He worked with the French accordionist Yvette Horner to help restyle her look, helping her relaunch her career by the end of the 1980s. He also designed Madonna's clothing for her Blond Ambition World Tour.

Gaultier launched a line of fragrances in 1993 and replaced the Junior Gaultier label with JPG by Gaultier in 1994. Over the next years, there was some restructuring of the brand. Gaultier began collaborating with Hermès, which acquired 35% of Gaultier's label in 1999. From 2003 to 2010, Gaultier worked as the creative director for Hermès in addition to directing his own brand. By 2008, there were 40 Jean Paul Gaultier stores open worldwide.

Jean-Paul Gaultier

Thomas Niedermueller / Getty Images

In 2011, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts organized an exhibit called "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk." The exhibit toured through a number of prominent museums around the world, including the Barbican Centre in London, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and the Grand Palais in Paris. The exhibition in Paris became the subject of a documentary, "Jean Paul Gaultier at the Grand Palais," which aired on Eurochannel.

In 2015, Gaultier announced he was closing his ready-to-wear labels in order to focus on haute couture. In 2016, he designed more than 500 costumes for the revue "THE ONE Grand Show" at Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin. In 2018, he staged a cabaret show that was loosely based on his own life called "Fashion Freak Show." It took place at the Folies Bergere theatre in Paris. The following year, he collaborated with the New York streetwear brand Supreme. In January 2020, he announced that his next Paris haute couture fashion show would be his last, and he would then retire from the runway.

In addition to his work in fashion, Gaultier has also done some work in television, film, and music. He released a dance single called "How To Do That" in 1988. He has also been involved in the Eurovision Song Contest, dressing several of France's entrants over the years. Beginning in 1993, he co-hosted the Channel 4 program, "Eurotrash," with Antoine de Caunes. He hosted the show until 1997. In 2012, he was named as a member of the Jury for the Main Competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. It was the first time a fashion designer was called to sit on a jury at the festival. In 2022, he appeared with Iris Mittenaere as the guest judge on "Drag Race France."

Personal Life

Gaultier struggled with his sexuality throughout his youth. He was inspired to learn that some of the iconic fashion designers he admired were gay or bisexual. He met his partner, Francis Menuge, early on in his fashion career. Menuge helped him get established as a designer and assisted him as he began organizing fashion shows. During the AIDS epidemic of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Menuge learned that he was HIV positive. He became quite ill, and Gaultier cared for him throughout the end of his life until he died in 1990 of AIDS-related causes.

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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