The House of Lapidus
The Paris designer, Ted Lapidus, opened his first boutique in 1957 and became one of the major designers to watch during the rapidly changing times of the 60s and 70s. In the capable hands of Ted Lapidus’ son, Olivier Lapidus, the company only grew, holding to the important idea that changing times require new techniques and constant innovation.
As the son of a tailor, Edmond “Ted” Lapidus, had his work cut out for him. When he was old enough, he worked an apprenticeship with one of the best, Christian Dior, before he opened his own brand when he was only 22, in 1951.
It wasn’t until Lapidus became part of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture that he truly came into his own. He joined this French union for high fashion designers in 1963 and offered some designs that were truly revolutionary at the time. For instance, the unisex look that was the all the rage at the time was his creation. Many believe him to be the man who made blue jeans a popular mainstream fashion – a trend that has continued to this very day.
Lapidus created more than a few trends that exemplify those times, apart from unisex clothing. Because of him, military-style shoulders and epaulets became popular for a time, on both male and female clothing. He was the man who managed to convince one of the first legitimate supermodels, Twiggy, to switch from her customary miniskirts to a suit and tie.
French superstars like Francoise Hardy, Alain Delon, and Brigitte Bardot began to wear Lapidus creations, spreading his fame. A great admirer of Lapidus, John Lennon, also came to the designer for clothing. The suit Lennon wore on the cover of the classic album Abbey Road was designed by Ted Lapidus.
As the 1960s passed into the 70s, the desire for high fashion began to fade. Lapidus began to design accessories as well as clothing. The brand was among the first to form a partnership with an outside company to create its own line of fragrances, as well. For Lapidus, this partner was L’Oreal, who created the first Lapidus fragrance in 1970.
The house of Lapidus has continued to produce fragrances from 1970 to the present year, always trying to create something new that captures a certain spirit of the times, or better yet, defines a certain spirit on its own unique way, as Ted Lapidus did on so many occasions.
The everyday scent Fantasme was launched in 1992. This daily wear feminine scent is fresh and floral, with just a hint of spicy undertones. It has green top notes mixed with peach, violet, bergamot, and pineapple. The heart is jasmine, orris root, lily-of the-valley, raspberry, and damask rose. The trailing notes are musk, vanilla, sandalwood, and cedar.
One of the newest Lapidus fragrances is White Soul Gold and Diamonds, a partner fragrance to their 2010 creation White Soul. This version was launched in 2013 and has a light and airy feel, carrying a delightfully floral scent. White Soul was a brightly spicy and fruity-sweet scent with a warm resin base. This second White Soul fragrance is more of a blend of floral and citrus, with a soft and warm trail that will be remembered long after it has faded away.
White Soul Gold and Diamonds opens with bright sparkling notes of neroli and bergamot. The floral heart is composed of sensuous sambac jasmine with orange blossom. The warm and comfortable base is a soft blend of amber, vanilla-orchid, and heliotrope, almost innocently sensuous.
Olivier Lapidus took over the label in 1989, guiding it to future successes. Not long after this takeover, Lapidus was sponsoring a French auto racing team, entering the world of sports and raising the profile of the band.
After decades of seeing decline in the realms of high fashion, Lapidus dropped the production of haute couture to focus on the creation of accessories like watches and fragrances in 2000. The continuing popularity of Lapidus products shows the wisdom of this move, and the company continues to grow today.
Ted Lapidus passed away in 2008 and the then-president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, stated that Lapidus was responsible for democratizing “French elegance and classicism” and for making fashion something not just for the elites, but something everyone could participate in. Sarkozy named him “the poet of French couture”, a true artist of his craft.