(Paris) The fashion designer Marc Bohan, who was the artistic director of Dior for nearly thirty years (1961-1989), an unrivaled longevity in this house, has died, we learned on Friday from the luxury label .

He died Wednesday at the age of 97, said the brand, owned by French luxury giant LVMH.

“He has, for nearly 30 years, watched over with infinite respect the immense creative legacy left by Christian Dior, which he knew how to interpret both in his haute couture and ready-to-wear lines,” praised the boss. of the group, Bernard Arnault, in a reaction sent to AFP.

“If this flame of French creative and artisanal standards that he patiently and continually maintained shines today throughout the world, it is largely thanks to him,” he praised.

Little known to the general public, his personality was eclipsed by that, more exuberant, of his successors Gianfranco Ferré and John Galliano.

Perfect mastery of the cut, great sense of proportion: he made Dior in keeping with the spirit of the founder.

Above all, it allowed the label to open up to new customers thanks to the launches of the “Miss Dior” women’s, “Baby Dior” children’s and “Dior Monsieur” men’s ready-to-wear lines.

Born in Paris on August 22, 1926, Marc Bohan was passionate about drawing and fashion from an early age, encouraged by his mother who was a milliner.

He joined Christian Dior in 1957, responsible for creating collections in London.

Her first collection, “Slim Look”, for spring-summer 1961, celebrated a woman dressed without restraints, skirts shortened, suits became dominant. Collection which will be a great success.

He has long been close to the writer Françoise Sagan and the artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Among his other major clients, the Duchess of Windsor and Empress Farah of Iran, whom he dressed notably for the coronation of the Shah in 1967.

Her style had also seduced the former American first lady, Jackie Kennedy, who had asked her official designer Oleg Cassini to make copies of Dior models.

Upon his departure in 1989, he became artistic director of the London house Norman Hartnell, until 1992.

Passionate about opera and theater, he created numerous stage costumes, collaborating in particular with Luchino Visconti.

He twice won the “Dé d’Or”, the supreme award for a designer, in 1983 and 1988.