Christian Marie Marc Lacroix (May 16, 1951 in Trinquetaille, France) is a high-end French fashion designer. Born in Arles, France, at a young age he began sketching historical costumes and fashions. He studied history of art at the University of Montpellier and then enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris. While working on a dissertation on dress in French 18th-century painting, Lacroix also pursued a program in museum studies at the Louvre Museum. In 1978, he joined the French firm Hermès, where he worked on color schemes and the execution of designs.
From 1981 to 1987 Lacroix worked at the fashion house of Jean Patou, and in 1987 he opened his own couture and ready-to-wear business. With his background in historical costume and clothing, Lacroix soon made headlines with his opulent, fantasy creations, including the short puffball skirt ("le pouf"), rose prints, and low décolleté necklines. He quoted widely from other styles -- from fashion history (the corset and the crinoline), from folklore, and from many parts of the world -- and he mixed his quotations in a topsy-turvy manner. He favored the hot colors of the Mediterranean region, a hodgepodge of patterns, and experimental fabrics, sometimes handwoven in local workshops.