Born in 1880 in Normandy, Jean Patou, the son of a tanner and nephew to a furrier was well experienced in the area of design before deciding to venture out on his own and open a small dressmaking salon in Paris in 1912
. Success came quickly to Patou who sold his entire 1914 collection to a single American buyer, however, he was forced to put his craft on hold when he was mobilized in August of the same year for World War I. Reopening his salon in 1919, Patou began to work on eliminating the...
flapper look and on improving the design for sportswear.
Patou began the tradition of previewing his fashion collections to the press and it was also Patou who invented the first designer label—the pockets of his creations were embroidered with the letters “J” and “P”. The House of Patou was marketed mainly to wealthy American women and when the stock market crashed, so did the market for high end fashions. Patou was able to weather the storm through the sale of his perfumes, the first of which was introduced in 1925.
With the introduction of Joy in 1931, Patou found “immortality” as it has become one of the most popular perfumes of all time. Created with the stock market crash of 1929 in mind, Patou dedicated this fragrance to his American clients who could no longer afford his fashions. Other popular fragrances from the House of Patou include Jean Patour 1000, Enjoy, Pan Ame de Patou and Sublime.