The head of Paris’s renowned Maison Lesage passed away at age 82 ‘after a long battle against his illness,’ according to a statement from the house reported by the Associated Press.
Lesage built the atelier founded by his father into a centre of excellence for the embellishment arts. His artisans’ detailed work with feathers, sequins and silk attracted the devotion and reliance of Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, Christian Lacroix, Givenchy and others through the decades.
In 2002, Chanel acquired Maison Lesage and a number of other ateliers in a bid to assure their survival. Passing the artistry of the atelier down through the generations was one of Lesage’s priorities; he established an embroidery school within the atelier to train new artisans.
‘Francois Lesage was an immense lover of couture who established embroidery as a true art form and was internationally renowned,’ Bruno Pavolvsky, president of fashion at Chanel and president of the Maison Lesage, said in the statement. Chanel and Maison Lesage ‘are committed to perpetuating the exceptional know-how that he bequeathed to his embroiders and thus will pay the greatest homage to his talent as an artisan.’