|PARIS, May 21, 2009 / FW/ — Originally trained to be a psychologist, Jean Claude Jitrois found his love for fashion in the most unusual place – in the hospital working with disabled children as he created costumes for the children to play with.
The love was found and the catalyst came next. Jean Claude Jitrois father’s aviator jacket was the first piece that inspired him. After creating one for Stephanie of Monaco after a chance meeting, Jean Claude Jitrois left psychology behind and began a new career as a fashion designer, opening his first boutique in 1976 in Nice on the rue Tondutil de l’Escarène.
Going from strength to strength, anotherJitrois boutique soon followed in the town of Juan-les-Pins, near Antibes and then another in St. Tropez.
Quickly establishing himself within the influential circles on the Côte d’Azur, he continued to design for the royal family of Monaco, for both Stéphanie and her sister Caroline. In 1980 he created a complete bath robe for Brigitte Bardot.
This marks the start of a new period of designing for Jean Claude, as he launched his first leather line, J3 in 1981, which included his first men’s wear line. The success that followed resulted in the first Parisian boutique in 1983, opening on the world famous rue Faubourg Saint Honoré, the Rodeo Drive of Paris.
In 2002 Jean Claude Jitrois received the ‘Légion d’Honneur’, the highest decoration in France for services to the fashion industry and the promotion of France abroad.
Well-respected in the fashion circle, Jean Claude Jitrois already has an assured place in fashion history when he revolutionized the leather industry in 1995 when he launched the first stretch leather in the world.
Re-launching as Jitrois: le cuir stretch (stretch leather), the new material was developed in conjunction with the chemist company Dupont de Nemours.
Over the years, Jitrois has continued to push the physical properties of the oldest material worn by man. Combining state of the art technology, Jitrois has created leather garments that go far beyond normal expectations of leather.
Expanding the stretch leather technique to python (another world first) and kangaroo (first used in autumn/winter 2005/2006), Jitrois has managed to maintain its position as a cutting edge and innovative couture house. In his Spring/Summer 2008 collection, Jitrois used nubuck python for the first time.
In 1998, Jitrois opened a new boutique on the prestigious Sloane Street in London, followed by one in Puerto Banus in Spain and then one in Cannes, on the Croisette.
Jitrois is now stocked in the world’s most prestigious multi-brand stores around the globe, from Harrods in London, Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong and many, many others.
In the U.S., Jitrois is sold at: Donna Lewis (Alexandria), Stanley Korshak (Dallas), Bellhaus (East Hampton) and L’Atelier F (Sarasota)
JEAN CLAUDE JITROIS