Fashion Design Legend Manfred Thierry Mugler Passes Away At Age 73

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Manfred Thierry Mugler, the name behind an iconic structured silhouette sporting strong shoulders and a cinched waist, passed away on Sunday, January 23 at the age of 73.


“It is with deep sadness that the House of Mugler announces the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler,” the fashion designer’s label wrote on Instagram. “A visionary whose imagination as a couturier, perfumer and image-maker empowered people around the world to be bolder and dream bigger every day.”


Photo 191988357 © Biserko |




Mugler’s style was ahead of the times, even by today’s standards. The look, characterized by a solid inverted triangle shape where shoulders are overstated while the waist appears to be in a corset, boldly extols femininity and has earned the moniker of “power dressing.”


Photo 191988087 © Biserko |


This dominatrix-esque appeal certainly gave some of Hollywood’s most influential figures a boost of vigor—power dressing inspired the look in Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, and Demi Moore’s black dress in Indecent Proposal remains to be one of her most memorable numbers. His pieces were worn by numerous celebrities noted for their glowing stage presence, including David Bowie, Diana Ross, Beyoncé, Cardi B, and Gaga.



Image via IMDb


According to the New York Times, Mugler’s avant-garde outfits were the spark that set off the punk posh style of Alexander McQueen.

The French designer’s visibility further propelled into the current fashion scene when Kim Kardashian stepped out in an optical-illusion “Wet Look” latex dress at the 2019 Met Gala, seemingly dripping in crystals.





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Mugler, who retired in 2003, leaned into the LGBTQ community as a muse for his work—decades before fashion’s diversity movement. He often worked with drag artists, as well as began casting trans models to walk his runways way back in the 1980s.


In the 1990s, Mugler added another forte to his belt; his brand became nearly synonymous with its new signature fragrance, Angel, and it continues to be one of its most prized offerings today.


Photo 175667738 © Grzegorz Czapski |


Casey Cadwallader, Mugler’s creative director, mourned: “Manfred, I am so honored to have known you and to work within your beautiful world. You changed our perception of beauty, of confidence, of representation, and self-empowerment. Your legacy is something I carry with me in everything I do. Thank you.”


The late designer died of “natural causes,” members of the press were told. His agent shared with Agence France-Presse that Mugler had been poised to announce new collaborations early this week.





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[via The New York Times, The Guardian, France 24, images via various sources]

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