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Marc Bohan, the former Dior artistic director who helped the house’s most iconic collections take shape for over 30 years, has died at age 97. Bohan’s death occurred on September 6, less than a month after his 97th birthday.

Born in Paris on August 22, 1926, Bohan showed talent in drawing and fashion from an early age, and was encouraged in his pursuits by his mother, herself a noted local hatmaker. He first joined Dior in 1957, and created collections for the house out of its London office. It didn’t take long for Bohan to rocket to the upper echelon of Dior either, as he took took over the mantle of artistic director in 1961 when Yves Saint Laurent was summoned for military service. Apart from his work creating countless collections as artistic director, a mantle he held until 1989 when he left to work at British house Norman Hartnell, Bohan played a key role in launching “Miss Dior,” “Baby Dior” and “Dior Monsieur,” ready-to-wear lines for women, children and men, respectively. His work twice won him the “De d’Or,” or “Golden Thimble,” a prestigious French high fashion award, in 1983 and 1988.

Further adding to his legacy, Bohan dressed Iran’s Empress Farah for the coronation of the shah in 1967, and First Lady Jackie Kennedy was so taken with Farah’s look, she asked her own designer to copy Bohan’s style. He was also close with artist Niki de Saint Phalle and writer Francoise Sagan, and created stage costumes to satisfy his enthusiasm for both theater and opera.

Dior has issued an official statement on Bohan’s death — along with quotes from Kim Jones, Delphine Arnault, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Victoire de Castellane — all of which can be seen below.

Dior is deeply saddened to learn of the

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