Jean Henri Bousquet was born in 1932 in Nimes, France. He began his design career in 1947, at the age of 15, as an apprentice tailor. In 1951 he studied at the Ecole Technique, in Nimes. In 1956, he moved to Paris and worked as a cutter/stylist for Jean Jourdan.
In 1958 he opened a small atelier where he made shirts for men. He gave the name of his new fashion house CACHAREL after a species of wild duck.
Shortly after he stopped making clothes for men and started a company designing for women. In the early 60's he introduced a highly successful women's blouse based on a man's shirt and made up in a fabric similar to nightwear. In 1961, he produced a blouse constructed without bust darts, and the result was a best-selling fitted shirt.
In 1965, he signed an agreement with Liberty to use it's floral designs in his own contemporary colour ways.
During the 70’s, Cacharel introduced his ready-to-wear designs. Emanuelle Khanh designed for Cacharel from 1962 to 1967.
At the end of the 60's, Cacharel gave Sarah Moon her first advertising campaign, after which she went on to become a leading fashion photographer. She was photographing his creations throughout the70's and 80's. Her work for him was muted, somewhat surreal and always beautiful. She had been successful in creating a romantic marketing image for Cacharel.
In 1978, Jean Bousquet launched his first perfume Anais Anais.
During the 1980's several designers worked at Cacharel. In 1982 the Japanese designer Atsuro Tayama was there for a while.
Jean still overseas his house from Paris, but the American showroom was opened in 2001 by his son Guillaume Bousquet who has taken charge of American development. Guillaume studied at the Florida International University in the USA. J
ean also has a daughter Jessica who works within the company. In the year 2000, the successful husband-wife British designer team of Clements Rebeiro took over the design for Cacharel and presented very well received collections, featuring printed dresses with a mock Japanese Obi around the waists.
Celia Birtwell, the wife of famous 60's designer Ossie Clark, creates the wonderful prints for all the dresses shown for Cacharel, since Fall 2002.
Clements Ribeiro have formed an exclusive collection under the Cacharel for La Redoute label with French fashion catalogue La Redoute a favourite of chic Parisiennes.
Cacharel became known for semi-casual, matching separates which captured the Zeitgeist by bringing relaxed styles into broader use. His culottes’ skirts and gabardine mini skirts with three pleats at each side were very popular, worn with short, tight, brightly coloured Shetland sweaters over delicately printed shirts and blouses with embroidered collars. This style of dressing was widely copies. His ready-to-wear designs are bolder more colourful patterns, many of which were inspired by the prints and weaves of Africa and the Far East. His aim was to represent a wild, free image which rejected the formality of clothing favoured by older generations.