Jean-Paul Gaultier was born April 24, 1952, in Arcueil, Val-de-Marne, France. He never received formal training as a designer but instead started sending sketches to famous couture stylists at an early age. Designer Pierre Cardin was impressed by his talent and hired him as an assistant in 1970.
Gaultier’s first collection was released in 1976 and he quickly established a reputation in fashion as an irreverent character, an ‘enfant terrible’ of French fashion. Much of Gaultier's inspiration for prêt a porter shows is derived from the street and pop culture while his Haute Couture collections are very formal, yet playful.
Gaultier is also well known for his longtime costume collaborations with Madonna during the nineties. He designed both the infamous cone-bra for her Blond Ambition Tour in 1990 and the wardrobe for her Confessions Tour in 2006.