Thierry Mugler death: career of Alien and Angel perfume creator - and what happened to his nose and face?

Thierry Mugler famously designed Kim Kardashian’s “Wet Dress” gown which she wore to the 2019 Met Gala

Thierry Mugler, an iconic French fashion designer who has worked with the likes of Beyonce, Grace Jones and David Bowie, has died age 73 from “natural causes” his agent confirmed.

This is everything you need to know about the designer.

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Who was Thierry Mugler?

Mugler was best known as a French fashion designer and the creative adviser of his fashion house Mugler. In order to keep himself separate from his brand and label, he went by his first name, Manfred, in his personal life.

He was born on 21 December 1948 in Strasbourg, France, and began formally training in interior design at the Strasbourg School of Decorative Arts.

At the age of 24, Mugler moved to Paris and started to design clothing for the Parisian boutique Gudule. At 25, when Mugler was working as a freelance designer, he started designing for a variety of brands in Paris, Milan, London and Barcelona.

He created his first personal collection, called Cafe de Paris, in 1973 but it was during the 1980s and 1990s that Mugler really became an internationally recognised fashion designer. In 1992, he completed his first haute couture collection, at the request of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

French fashion designer Thierry Mugler (Photo: BRITTA PEDERSEN/DPA/AFP via Getty Images)

Talking to Vice in 2010, Mugler described his clothes as “sexy and avant-garde”.

He said: “My clothes are sexy and avant-garde and as I wrote and said in Robert Altman’s Prêt a Porter, "It’s all about getting a great f**k, darling." I never wanted to be A Fashion Designer, but a director, which I was in fashion and now in showbiz.”

As well as fashion, Mugler also became known for his fragrances as well. His first perfume appeared in 1992 and it was called Angel. A few years later, in 1996, he followed Angel with a male version of the perfume, called Angel Men or A*Men.

In 2005, the second major Mugler fragrance was released, called Alien, and in 2010 House of Mugler released the perfume Womanity.

Who are some of the celebrities he worked with?

Mugler is the man behind a number of signature looks for iconic celebrities - including outfits for the Too Funky music video by George Michael and Demi Moore’s dress in the 1993 film Indecent Proposal.

Mugler also dressed the likes of Grace Jones, David Bowie, Celine Dion, Kate Moss and Diana Ross.

Mugler designed costumes for Beyonce’s I Am… World Tour, and in 2019 he created a one-off design which was worn by Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala.

Mugler famously designed Kim Kardashian’s “Wet Dress” which she wore to the 2019 Met Gala (Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

His vintage designs made appearances in the Lady Gaga music video for Telephone, and rapper Cardi B has also frequently worn his designs on the red carpet - she even mentioned his brand in her song Wild Side.

Also in 2019, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts launched an exhibition dedicated to the designer, called Thierry Mugler: Couturissime.

What happened to his face?

During his lifetime, Mugler underwent a number of surgeries on his body and face.

In an interview with Interview Magazine, conducted by actress Tippi Hedren (The Birds, Fashion House), Mugler spoke about his surgeries in detail.

He said: “I had several accidents. One was crashing in a jeep, during which my nose was completely destroyed.

“Another motorcycle accident involved steel cables, after which I had to remove a piece of metal from my leg.

“There was all this anesthesia and stuff, and I could never motivate myself to go back to the hospital because I’m so busy, and the surgeon was screaming at me, because they had to take this piece of metal out my leg.

Mugler in Berlin after a dress rehearsal of the new show The Wyld - Not of this world (Photo: BRITTA PEDERSEN/DPA/AFP via Getty Images)

“So I said, “Let’s find a way to make this fun!”. I asked the surgeon if he could do some things to my chin, and then I was happy to get the bloody anesthesia.

“He actually took a piece of bone from my hip and put it in my chin, so I don’t have any plastic or silicone. It’s all bones.

“I wanted my face to represent progress, because after years of being a thin, charming dancer, I wanted to be a warrior.”

Mugler also told Numero that he never “had any implants” but that he did “undergo facial reconstruction”.

He said: “I did undergo facial reconstruction following a serious accident at the gym that completely smashed my face.

“If that hadn’t happened I would never have touched my face, but seeing as he had to completely rebuild my chin, I said to myself, “Why not take advantage of this to sort things out a bit?”.”

When did he die?

Mugler passed away on Sunday 23 January at the age of 73, a post on Mugler’s official Facebook account confirmed.

It said: “We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022. May his soul Rest In Peace.”

Talking to AFP, Mugler’s agent said that the designer had died from “natural causes”.

The Mugler official Instagram page also posted: “It is with deep sadness that the House of Mugler announces the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler.

“A visionary whose imagination as a couturier, perfumer and image-maker empowered people around the world to be bolder and dream bigger every day.”

Tributes for Thierry Mugler

After the news of his death broke, fellow designers, celebrities and fans took to social media to post their tributes to Mugler.

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