Charles Frederick Worth

Modern fashion design manages to combine natural beauty with different accessories, clothing or aesthetics items, creating a true piece of art. Modern fashion finds itself in a continuous dynamic and the designers have to anticipate the further trends, in order to realize appealing clothing lines. However, modern fashion design is not just about the looks, and the creators have to realize clothing and accessories, which are appealing and fully functional, for a daily use. As fascinating as it may sound, the history of modern fashion design is even more interesting. In the following article, we will tell you more about the father of modern fashion design, which is Charles Frederick Worth and what he managed to accomplish during his career.

Beginning of his career

Charles Frederick Worth’s story started in 1846, when he moved to Paris. He arrived in France without speaking the language and with only 5 Pounds in his pocket. He had a series of small time jobs, which helped him survive through the day. Worth took the first notable job in 1852, when he was hired as a sales assistant, at Gagelin-Opigez & Cie, a famous silk producing firm. While working in this company, he got accustomed with this industry and not long after, he began sewing dresses. Even though the clothing were following a simple and common pattern, he quickly caught the eye of the clients. Worth started building a reputation and a lot of clients were requesting products from his personal line of work. Considering young Worth’s popularity and native talent, Gagelin decided to let him open a dress department, based entirely on his creations. This was Worth’s official entrance into the fashion world.


Because he had higher goals to achieve and he already became a personality in the fashion industry, Worth decided to leave Gagelin-Opigez and to start his own company. Partnering with a Swedish businessman, he managed to create his own business, naming it Worth and Bobergh.

In 1860, Worth designed a ball dress for Princess de Metternich and when Empress Eugenie saw that dress, she asked more about the designer and demanded to see him as soon as possible. After designing dresses for the Empress, he embraced an international success and now, the whole world knew about Charles Frederick Worth and his impressive creations. Soon, his fashion house grew from 50 employees to more than 1,200 and he was receiving orders from all around the world.


Worth was the first designer who included trimmings and lavish fabrics in a dress and also, the first one to organize live presentations, using models. However, because the crinoline type of dresses were impractical, Worth wanted to change that and to adopt a new stile. That’s why, he decided to create the “walking dress”, a shorter and more practical clothing accessory. This dress was the topic of many controversies, because it was considered by many too short and too vulgar. Despite the controversies, it soon became popular in the entire world.


Even though Charles Frederick Worth’s creations may not look as our current clothing, he was the one who put the bases of our current fashion. Many designers are still creating their products according to Worth’s ideas and it’s certain that modern fashion design wouldn’t have been where it is today, without him.



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