Mendel learned the trade under his father, Jacques, in the family’s Paris salon. In 1982, Gilles moved to New York and opened a J. Mendel outpost at Elizabeth Arden’s Fifth Avenue Salon, and then went on to open six J. Mendel boutiques worldwide.

Gilles Mendel, heir apparent and designer of J. Mendel, has reinvented the concept of fur. In the legacy of this fifth generation family fur house, Gilles Mendel continually challenges accepted notions of the legendary material by demonstrating its unexpected lightness, versatility and fabric-like properties. Moving into the ready to wear arena with the same dexterity, the Paris bred designer has created a full-scale atelier in his New York studio.

In 2003, marking the launch of his ready to wear collection, Gilles was inducted into the CFDA. He showed the Fall 2004 collection during Fashion Week in New York, officially introducing the ready to wear on the runway before the international press. The collection demonstrated Mendel's ability to work in materials ranging from silk chiffon to woolen tweeds with the same creativity and emphasis on design that he is known for in fur.

Who Wears It

Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Mischa Barton, Hillary Duff, Brittany Murphy, Jessica Simpson, Eva Mendez

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