Thierry Gillier is originally from Troyes, France, a reputable textile city. His father, André Gillier, is the co-founder of Lacoste. His childhood was spent in designing, making and trying on clothes. He fell in love with fashion at an early age, and decided to make it his life.
He opened several multi-label clothing stores that he named "Zadig" after the Voltaire character he describes as being "charismatic, modern and courageous." He partnered with a Scottish cashmere producer to develop a line of sweaters and other pieces. In 1996, he put his first designs on sale.
"Zadig & Voltaire" came into being several months later, after he met Amélie. At the time, she was attending Sciences Po (the political science university) in Paris, but shared the same passion for textiles as Gillier. She also had a feeling for fashion and a precise idea of what it should be. Compatible both personally and professionally, the future Mr. and Mrs. Gellier decided to combine his textile technique and her style and design, and Zadig & Voltaire was born in 1997.