French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler dead at 73

Mugler was known for his theatrical designs.

January 24, 2022, 4:15 PM

French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler has died, a statement on his official Instagram account confirmed Sunday.

He was 73.

"#RIP We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022. May his soul Rest In Peace," the statement reads in English as well as in French.

The cause of his death was not disclosed.

PHOTO: (FILES) In this file photo taken on February 26, 2019, French fashion designer Thierry Mugler speaks during the presentation of his exhibition "Couturissime" at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 26, 2019, French fashion designer Thierry Mugler speaks during the presentation of his exhibition "Couturissime" at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. - French designer Thierry Mugler, who reigned over fashion in the 1980s, died on January 23, 2022 at the age of 73 of "natural causes", according to his agent Jean-Baptiste Rougeot. (Photo by MARTIN OUELLET-DIOTTE / AFP) (Photo by MARTIN OUELLET-DIOTTE/AFP via Getty Images)
Martin Ouellet-diotte/AFP via Getty Images

Mugler was known for his adventurous, theatrical designs, which have been worn by supermodels, Hollywood royalty and fashionistas all around the world.

Model Bella Hadid reacted to the news in a comment on Mugler's Instagram. "Nonononono," she wrote, along with a sad-face emoji, in the post announcing the designer's death.

Designer Jeremy Scott and fashion photographer Mario Testino also commented with broken heart emojis.

"He was truly a visionary," fashion journalist Nina Garcia wrote on Twitter. "His designs shaped a fashion era and influenced a new generation of designers that weren’t afraid of taking risks. He was a pioneer in mixing art, fashion history music, advertising, technology & celebrity culture into a new form. RIP Thierry Mugler."

"Fashion visionary and one of the most influential and admired designers of his generation Manfred Thierry Mugler passed away today," the CFDA tweeted, along with a photo of supermodel Iman wearing one of Mugler's designs on the runway.

"Gone to soon 💔💔💔 God of fashion .. a rarely REAL, kindness , sweetest .. u ll be always missed by your Russian… 😔😔😔😔 @manfredthierrymugler 🙏," model Irina Shayk wrote in an Instagram post, alongside a photo of herself with Mugler.

His death comes less than a week after fellow industry icon and former Vogue editor André Leon Talley died, also at age 73.

Mugler was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1948. While he was always interested in design, he was also passionate about classical dance, theater and cinema, and practiced ballet. Throughout his career, he often designed costumes for musicals and got involved in theater performances and films.

His love of fantasy and Hollywood drama carried into his couture designs, making him an international sensation.

Mugler studied interior design at Strasbourg School of Decorative Arts before shifting to couture and moving to Paris. It was in the 1980s and 1990s when his career truly thrived, though in recent years, several of his inventive designs caused shockwaves on the red carpet. In 2019, he was responsible for Kim Kardashian's "wet look" dress for the Met Gala, and that same year dressed Cardi B in a pink and black "stormy Venus" dress for the Grammy Awards.

"Manfred Thierry Mugler 💔 My heart breaks," Kardashian wrote in an Instagram tribute to the late designer Monday. "There’s no one like you! Your vision, your transformations, your magic! I am so honored to have known you, spent time with you and be a muse for you. There was so much more for you to show the world and that we had planned to do together, but you already gave us so much. I will never forget our time together around the world and learning from the master himself on what couture really meant! You always said beauty will save the world - and you really believed it was a better place because of the beauty all around! Thank you for the beauty. I love you so much. My condolences go to Manfred’s family, friends, JB and his incredible team - and everyone who loved him and who’s lives he has touched."

Apart from his designs, Mugler was known for his luxurious perfumes -- including Angel in 1992, Angel Men in 1996, Alien in 2005, Mirror, Mirror in 2007 and Womanity in 2010 -- and a cosmetics line, Thierry Mugler Beauty.

He was also an author and artist. In 1988, his book of photography hit the stands, and 10 years later, he published "Thierry Mugler: Fashion Fetish Fantasy," which offers an overview of his work as a designer and creator.