Jean – Louis Scherrer, French fashion designer par excellence was born at Paris on February 19th, 1935. Originally trained as a dancer at the Conservatoire de Paris, Jean – Louis had to change his line of work and become a fashion designer due to a fatal back injury which permanently put a stop to his dancing career even before it started. He studied fashion at the School of Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Scherrer’s career in fashion design started when he joined Christian Dior in 1956 as an assistant designer alongside Yves Saint Laurent and later for Louis Feraud. Soon he had gained enough experience to start his own fashion house in 1962 with Jacques Chabrol’s investment on the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore.
Scherrer signed an agreement with Bergdorf Goodman in the mid of 60’s giving them the rights to reproduce and resell his designs. His luxurious fabrics, hand beaded garments and regal cuts made his label the number one choice of the rich and famous. Actresses at the prime of their career such as Claudia Cardinale, Jackie Kennedy and Racquel Welch were all fans of Scherrer’s work and were often scene flaunting his leopard skin printed skirts and polka dotted skirts. After opening a store under his own name at Avenue Montaigne in 1971, Scherrer diversified his business with Jean – Louis signature fragrances for women, launched in 1979 which later went on to become complete with a men’s fragrance line. The talented designer collaborated with famous perfumers like Raphael Haury and Nathalie Lorson to produce perfumes like Immense Pour Femme for women, Immense Pour Femme for Men, Jean Louis – Scherrer for women, Miss Scherrer, Nuits de Scherrer and Nuits Indiennes. He also launched his own line of furs, eye wear, footwear and ties.
Scherrer’s signature designs have always been very bold and unique compared to other fashion houses of his time. Draped cocktail dresses in animal, floral and polka dot prints are the staple Jean – Louis Scherrer design. Also, his masculine pantsuits and beaded jackets for women won the hearts of many wealthy women.
Even though Scherrer is known for his excellent skills in fashion designing, he is known to be the first couturier to be fired from his own fashion label in 1990 when his business partners exercised their controlling stake rights in the business and fired him without prior warnings. There was not much that could be done legally and Scherrer had to move on while Erik Mortensen took Scherrer’s former position. The fashion house did not survive for long and was permanently shut down in 2008.
Scherrer, survived by his wife and two daughters, passed away after battling with a ten month illness on 20th June, 2013 at a palliative care clinic at the age of 78. Even though Scherrer’s career caught a lucky break after many fits and starts, today his business is owned by a French family owned company by the name JSB International. The company deals in commercial real estate and distribution of luxury products worldwide.