Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Jorn Langberg

"Pioneer" collection for Christian Dior, London, spring 1970

“Pioneer” collection for Christian Dior, London, spring 1970

Christian Dior London, autumn 1969

Christian Dior London, autumn 1969

As Christian Dior’s business succeeded he expanded his fashion empire to include outposts, most notably in New York in 1948 and London in 1952. Designing for these lines initially came from Dior himself, but as the work load increased assistant designers were brought in. Both New York and London sold pret-a-porter suits and coats designed specifically for their markets and in 1958 Marc Bohan was hired to design this pret-a-porter line for London. But in late 1960 Bohan was given Dior’s Paris couture line after Yves St. Laurent’s departure from Dior.

In 1965 Danish-born Jorn Langberg was hired to design London’s pret-a-porter line. Langberg was born June 16, 1930 in southern Denmark. Despite his father’s disapproval, Langberg moved to London in 1953 to study fashion at St. Martin’s College for four years. He began working at Worth in Paris before returning to London to take a job designing ready-to-wear for Wallis Shops “I liked the immediate measure of success. When 250 copies of one dress are sold in a day it makes for an easy reckoning in the success or failure tables.”

After a year as chief designer, Langberg became the director of Christian Dior London. In 1967 Dior Paris created Miss Dior, a pret-a-porter line for younger women; Langberg created a similar line in London around the same time under the name Diorling, named after the Dior scent created in 1963. In 1972 Langberg began a men’s line for Dior London. Langberg remained as director of Christian Dior London until 1975 when Dior Paris dissolved the New York and London offices to refocus the business on the world wide licensing of luxury goods.

Langberg’s professional history gets muddy after 1975, although his name continues to pop up in various publications regarding the restoration work of his various residences and surrounding stylish gardens. Jorn Langberg passed away March 12, 2014.

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