Hard times were just around the corner though. The Great Depression resulted in the bankruptcy of the family business, forcing them to sell virtually everything they owned. Dior moved in with a friend and soon began directing his attention to the Fashion Industry.
After being discharged from army service in 1940, he returned to Paris in 1941 and secured employment with the Fashion House of Lucien Lelong.
In 1946 Marcel Boussac, the richest man in the France at the time, provided substantial financial backing for Dior to launch his own Fashion House. Dior's first clothing line released in 1947 was an overwhelming success, winning favour for the designer, both in Europe and the distant USA.
Not surprisingly, in 1949 Dior established a presence in New York and soon expanded again to London in 1952. Wider global expansion followed shortly after.
In 1948 Dior launched a perfume line under the name of Christian Dior Parfumes Ltd. While a 1950 decision to expand the brand into fashion accessories like hats, ties and handbags was unpopular in the French Chamber of Couture, this move remains aa a major cornerstone of the Company's present day success.
Dior was preparing for retirement when a heart attack took his life in 1957.
In the chaos that followed, the fairly inexperienced Yves Saint Laurent was promoted to the position of lead designer for the Company. Saint Laurent met with mixed success before military service forced him to leave Dior. His successor, Marc Bohan, would remain with the company until 1989. Bohan is credited in many circles with the rescue of the Dior brand.
The Boussac group, which was still in financial control of the Dior Fashion Fouse, declared bankruptcy around 1984. Dior was then acquired by a group of investors led by Bernard Arnault. Arnault took an active part in the direction Dior would take over the next few decades.
In 2001 the company decided to enter the men's fashion market, and their first show led by the talents of former Yves Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane was a huge triumph! Despite some ups and downs over the years, Dior is still considered as one of the most popular and innovative Fashion Houses in the world.