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Carven founder Mary-Louise Carven passes away

The fashion designer has died at the age of 105

By Liz Bautista | Published: 9 Jun 2015

Carven founder dies
Photo: Carven

French fashion designer and Carven founder Marie-Louise Carven passed away on Monday afternoon at the age of 105. She died of natural causes. 

Born Carmen de Tommaso, but fondly known as Madame Carven, the French couturier established her fashion house in 1945, with the aim of providing fashionable clothing for petite women like herself. "I decided to make haute couture outfits in my size because I was too short to wear the creations of the top couturiers, who only ever showed their designs on towering girls," said the late designer, who was among the few female designers of that time.

Madame Carven was a contemporary of designers Christian Dior and Balmain, but she was never about the fame. She told WWD in 2009, "I never did it for myself. I did it for the youngsters that came to see me, to teach them how to dress, to give them confidence in their own beauty – how to show themselves off through colours, styles, everything. Designers unfortunately think about making their mark on their design. I didn't think of my designs like that." And that is exactly why she will always be remembered. 

Related: Carven AW15
Related: Carven scouts for a new creative director


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