link.png Madame Carven, founder of iconic fashion house, dies aged 105← Back

 
Carmen de Tommaso, known by most as Madame Carven, has passed away at the age of 105.
 
The designer was a influential figure in the fashion industry and played a key role in shaping the post-war fashion scene, after setting up her fashion house on the Champs Elysées in 1945. Madame Carven was originally planning to pursue a career in interior design, but being only 1,55m tall she turned to fashion in order to create clothes for petite women. Her designs soon became very popular and she became known for her trademark striped green and white fabric, which was later reused as the branding for her perfume, “Ma Griffe”, as well as cinched waists. 
 
Madame Carven was one of the first designers in the fashion industry to take her Couture collections on tour, heading to diverse destinations such as Brazil and Thailand. She also made her mark on air travel, by redesigning the uniforms of airhostesses for a number of airlines during the sixties. The Carven offering ranged from swimwear and accessories to bridal.
Madame Carven only stepped down from her role in 1993, at the age of 84 and was awarded the prestigious Légion d’Honneur in 2009.
 
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Under her reign, the fashion house had the Haute Couture appellation, but Guillaume Henry, who was responsible for making Carven popular again, decided to focus on Pret-a-Porter instead when he took over in 2009. In March this year, Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud stepped in to replace Guillaume Henry after his departure to Nina Ricci. With this injection of fresh talent, one thing is certain: even though the founder retired over twenty years ago, the Carven legacy carries on.