When Emmanuelle Khanh founded her fashion house in Paris in 1969, she had a vision of a world on the move: women's bodies were being liberated, fashion was being democratised and young people were becoming aware of their strength. At the forefront of these changes, the then model revolutionised women's ready-to-wear clothing and, from 1971 onwards, accessories, creating a line of glasses with unusual volumes. Emmanuelle Khanh imposed her own vision of the future.
Emmanuelle Khanh was born Renée Mazière on 12 September 1937 in Paris.
At the age of 17, the young Emmanuelle Khanh began a career as a model for Haute Couture, and frequented the great names in fashion, Balenciaga and Givenchy.
She married Quasar Khanh, a designer, engineer, inventor and artist who revolutionised furniture in the 1960s and 1970s by inventing innovative materials, and became world famous for his inflatable vinyl designs.
In the early 1960s, she turned to fashion design. She grasped an era in full mutation: women's bodies were liberated, fashion was democratised and young people became aware of their strength. A visionary, she imagined a wardrobe for modern, free and active women wishing to emancipate themselves from the still rigid social shackles. She was the very first woman to design models for the Creator section of the La Redoute catalogue. Hélène Lazareff, co-founder and director of Elle magazine, noticed her and devoted her first editorials to her. Maïmé Arnodin, the papess of ready-to-wear, bought her first designs and offered her a position as a stylist at ID (Isidore Dumail), which was then at the forefront of all trends. She then collaborated with the rising brands of the time, Cacharel and Missoni.
Emmanuelle Khanh launches her eponymous women's ready-to-wear brand. Convinced that fashion should go beyond the Parisian salons of Haute Couture, she wanted to liberate shapes and materials and bring fashion to the streets. She revolutionised the fashion of her time: through the shapes, which offered women an ease of movement that they had not found anywhere else; through the materials used, such as denim or plastic. Inspired by her husband, the designer Quasar Khanh, she reinvented the material for clothing. These innovations, combined with knitwear and embroidery, define a unique wardrobe. Success was immediate.
Emmanuelle Khanh launches her first eyewear collection. For this, she joined forces with Henri Guillet and the best workshops in Oyonnax, in the Jura region, and designed a range of strong, voluminous frames with straightforward lines that were immediately iconic. With Emmanuelle Khanh, eyewear becomes a fashion accessory in its own right, the signature of a daring style, both eccentric and elegant. Traditional know-how is at the heart of the manufacture of the frames. The designer never ceases to pay homage to the craft of eyewear making, integrating all possible boldness into her creations: rhinestones, enamels, inlaid metal decorations, engravings, furs or skins.
The designer actively participated in the foundation of the Chambre syndicale des Couturiers et des Créateurs de mode, within the framework of the Fédération Française de la Couture. The group of fashion designers is situated between Haute Couture, which is exclusive and reserved for a wealthy elite, and Prêt-à-porter, which is oriented towards wide distribution. Emmanuelle Khanh campaigns for signed, high-end fashion, quality pieces accessible to a new bourgeoisie with modern social conceptions.
Emmanuelle Khanh opens her first boutique on the Left Bank, at 2 rue de Tournon, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. In addition to ready-to-wear and eyewear, she has created a line of jewellery inspired by plant motifs and exploring new materials, such as ceramics. Then there are other accessories - hats, gloves and bags - that define a complete silhouette.
Emmanuelle Khanh has been awarded the Knight of Arts and Letters.
Overflowing with inspiration, the House nevertheless gradually died out and ceased its activities. Its spirit will survive through the lovers of the Emmanuelle Khanh style, until the brand is reborn.
The relaunch of eyewear, an essential accessory in the women's wardrobe and emblematic of the designer's style, marks the official return of the Emmanuelle Khanh label. The Héritage collection, imprinted with the historical style, was revived. The most iconic models were reissued, once again manufactured in the Jura workshops with which Madame Khanh collaborated.
Eva Gaumé joined Emmanuelle Khanh as Artistic and Image Director. She draws her inspiration from the women of today. With the demand for quality work and an exceptional heritage, she writes the history of the House in the present. In Paris, she designs the label's collections, oscillating between tradition and modernity, while respecting the craftsmanship and traditions dear to the founder.
“ Beyond the style and the thick-framed frames that have become cult, it is this character, free and feminist by instinct, that guides my creation today. The designer has passed on to me her piquant and joyful generosity, her love for women, their bodies and their lives, their need to exist, to tell their story, to assert themselves, to exist in their own eyes as well as in those of others. "Eva Gaumé
Eva continues the aesthetic vision of Madame Khanh and her famous oversized frames. Sunglasses and optics are oversized or extra thin, dark or bright, in acetate or even titanium. They remain the standard for active, emancipated and joyful women, but also for men, for whom she designs a mastered masculine line, where comfort and quality blend wonderfully with elegance and strength.
In winter, Madame Khanh died in Paris. After revolutionising women's fashion and the world of ready-to-wear, she left to future generations much more than a style, a militant and daring state of mind and the will to reconcile elegance and strength for women.
For spring, the House asserts its fashion dimension with the launch of a line of jewellery chains, and brings back into fashion an accessory that was outdated at the time. This new wardrobe combines acrylic, a material aesthetically similar to acetate but much lighter, with gold-plated metal. Taking up the iconic codes of her eyewear collections, Emmanuelle Khanh proposes a new vision of the eyewear chain: precious, audacious and elegant. Designed as face jewellery, they can be transformed into necklaces, for a playful and joyful fashion.
Emmanuelle Khanh celebrates 50 years of creation in style. For the occasion, the House invented its monogram, a graphic and elegant motif designed in collaboration with the Dreams Office design studio. It is a new signature, unmistakably fashionable, a desire to continue to create a new vocabulary, while paying homage to the House's label dimension.
This autumn, Emmanuelle Khanh presents her first collection of men's eyewear. Eva Gaumé imagines a strong, elegant and sensitive man. The frames are sculpted from one-centimetre-thick acetate, with bevelled edges that refine the silhouette and reflect the light. A stylish collection, both classic and daring. With the invention of this masculine alter-ego of the Emmanuelle Khanh woman, the couple has drawn together, completed each other and invited each other to share their wardrobes.