Pant suits, military-style coats and sporty clothing in an era of high heels and artfully teased hairdos they were nothing short of a sensation. It was Daniel Hechter who in 1962 first introduced them to the catwalks and then the shops of Paris.
His vision: Creative fashion should not be a privilege reserved for a small group of elite who can afford haute couture and live in a world of sparkling events. On the contrary, his credo was that creative fashion must be both affordable and wearable.
It must pick up on new trends and developments, incorporating them into pieces appropriate for the target group. It must offer millions of women exactly what they all dream of: beautiful clothing with a perfect fit and an affordable price tag.
Daniel Hechter was a step ahead of his time with this idea—as always the perfect recipe for capturing the enthusiasm of a broad public. The war-ravaged countries of Western Europe had once again regained prosperity by the early 1960s. The time was ripe for new ideas.
Women were beginning to strive for emancipation and were no longer pat- terning themselves after the model of the “lady.” They wanted to have a career, be mobile, see and do different things—no longer be tied to house and family.
Daniel Hechter had already set the tone with the establishing of his prêt-à-porter shows. Fashion was to become suitable for everyday life. And he put his concept to the test in his first collections, offering women clothing which reflected the new sense of self-awareness and was tailored to an emancipated lifestyle. It was the dawn of a new fashion era blending sporty chic and elegance. Daniel Hechter designed blazers which could be combined with skirts or pants, shirt blouses, knit ensembles and, last but not least, trenchcoats. Just a decade before, in the 1950s, these coats had been reserved for lonely urban heroes. In the hands of Daniel Hechter they now became an indispensable part of every style-conscious woman’s wardrobe—women who successfully combined an attractive outward appearance (dare we say “sex appeal”?) with independence.
Without a doubt, Daniel Hechter made his mark on the look of an entire era. And not just in women’s fashion. He also set a striking tone in the world of men’s fashion, to which he devoted himself from 1969 onward.
It was Daniel Hechter who first had stylish advertising photos made of collections, thereby creating the perfect ambience for selling fashion. One unforgettable ad from the 1970s shows a man in a suit sitting on a chair in the breaking ocean surf. A true innovation!
It was Daniel Hechter—himself a passionate sports enthusiast in his spare time and owner of his own soccer club—who in 1975 became the first fashion design- er to launch his own sportswear collection. Long before other designers, it was he who sensed the winds of change blowing over Western European society in the 1970s.
In an age in which jeans had become socially acceptable apparel for the opera, it was subjective mood and personal style—not the occasion itself—which determined the choice of outfit. Clothing became an expression of attitude towards life, and fashion thus a question of lifestyle. Daniel Hechter responded by designing beautiful, wearable, persuasive fashion for men and women. Clothing which exuded the spirit of Paris, the capital of fashion.
It was this foundation upon which Daniel Hechter’s success as a designer and entre- preneur in the 1980s and 1990s was based. In 1998 he sold his company to Miltenberger Otto Aulbach GmbH, a long-standing licensee in Germany. Company man- agement has since been located in Germany, while the design studio remains in Paris. The designer label has become a designer brand, but its flair is unchanged. Fashion from Daniel Hechter still stands for the charm and ease with which Parisian fashion designers respond to the trends of their day.