What is Haute Couture: 12 Facts

Everyone has heard the term “Haute Couture” a million times in their lifetime, but how many did actually know what it refers to?  There are many people who use the term “Haute Couture” improperly, which is why we want to set it straight today with this article. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about Haute Couture, but don’t worry, you will find them out in a few moments!

  1. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Haute Couture is: “noun ˌōt-ku̇-ˈtu̇r, the houses or designers that create exclusive and often trend-setting fashions for women; also : the fashions created”.
    A Valentino Haute Couture creation
    A Valentino Haute Couture creation
  2. The term “haute couture” is French. Haute means “high” or “elegant.” Couture literally means “sewing” .
  3. The term was used for the first time in 1908.
  4. Not anyone can be an Haute Couture designer, or sell their clothes as such. To be a haute couture house, a business must be part of the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture in Paris, which is regulated by the French Department of Industry.
  5. In this union, there are about 18 members. Some of the most renowned are Chanel, Christian Dior, Maison Martin Margiela, Jean Paul Gaultier and Givenchy.
  6. To make an Haute Couture dress it takes from 100 to 400 hours.
  7. An Haute Couture suit can cost up to $60,000, while a dress can go up to $100,000.
  8. Couture clothes are made out of highly expensive fabrics such as expensive silks, fine wools, cashmeres, cottons, linens, leather, suede, other skins or furs.
  9. Sometimes a certain fabric is reserved for just one fashion house.
  10. There are only 2000 women who buy couture today, 60% of which are American. There are only 200 people who are regular customers.
  11. However, we can often see Couture clothes worn by famous people. They don’t buy them, but get these clothes as a loan, so they advertise for the house’s mainstream products such as perfume.
  12. Because Haute Couture fashion is done only for people who order these clothes and because the market is so small and expensive, the industry runs at a loss. But it’s all about selling the dream and getting a huge media attention.



Fraquoh and Franchomme






P.S. What do you think of couture clothes? Share your opinions in the comments below!

27 thoughts on “What is Haute Couture: 12 Facts

  1. i am doing a dissertation on haute couture and was just wondering if you knew which are the main cities couture clothing is sold in or is it just Paris where it is sold?

    • Hello! While Paris is the center of haute couture, clothes from this category can be also purchased in other cities, such as Milan or New York City.

    • Dear Zuriel,

      Thank you very much for the comment! Indeed, there are fewer people who buy Haute Couture, around 150 in the whole world are regular clients, but HC has always been a select club. It’s great to hear though that there is someone in Canada buying Haute Couture!

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