Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2009 (Revised April 2013)

Christian Dior: A New Look for Haute Couture

by Geoffrey Jones and Veronique Pouillard

Abstract

The case describes the foundation of Christian Dior, the leading Parisian fashion house, in 1946 and its subsequent globalization strategy. After explaining the historical origins of France's preeminence in upscale fashion, the case explores the challenges to this position from New York after World War 2, and the importance of Christian Dior's New Look in restoring French fashion to world leadership. The case examines, in particular, Dior's innovative strategy to combine a high-fashion business in Paris with a ready-to-wear business in New York, and his subsequent pursuit of licensing opportunities in jewelry and other luxury products. The case provides an opportunity to explore the role of creativity in the luxury fashion industry, and the challenges and opportunities of globalizing such an industry.

Keywords: Global Strategy; Globalized Firms and Management; Globalized Markets and Industries; Business History; Innovation Strategy; Luxury; Fashion Industry; France; New York (city, NY);

Citation:

Jones, Geoffrey, and Veronique Pouillard. "Christian Dior: A New Look for Haute Couture." Harvard Business School Case 809-159, June 2009. (Revised April 2013.)