Someone unversed in the ways of fashion would have trouble accepting that Jean Colonna comes from the world of haute couture. Indeed, his work seems to fly in the face of the conventional notions of luxury. Closer examination reveals that his style is in fact based on a subtle mix of couture and ready-to-wear. His label, launched in 1987, did not achieve widespread recognition until 1993, when the grunge phenomenon in fashion veered towards glamour.
Many are the designers who have learned a lesson in elegance from this former Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture student and ex-assistant in Pierre Balmain’s studio. Colonna sharpened his sense of the “right look” working as accessory designer for Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana and Jean-Paul Gaultier in the eighties, before undertaking in-depth work on image.
His first collections were presented in the form of catalogues, with visuals by photographers such as Bettina Rheims in 1987 and Stéphane Sednaoui in 1988. In 1993, he collaborated with La Redoute and le Printemps department store. In 1996 he signed an exclusive distribution licensing contract with Kashiyama and an accessories license with Muraï. In 1996, Jean Colonna signs a licence of exclusive distribution with Kashiyama of Japan. The following year, he arranged for Italian distribution with the firm of Gibo and the first Jean Colonna store opened in Tokyo.
In 2009, Morgan and Ramosport asked him to design limited editions.
In september 2009, Colonna comes back with his brand Jeancolonna and a new concept made of universal basics such as tee shirts and tops 100% silk, 100% cotton, …
Unlike many designers who dream of dressing “strangers in the street”, Jean Colonna embodies this desire in his principle: “You don’t sell elegance with the design… It’s a matter of balance between you and the garment.”