agnès b. time after time
Since the beginning, agnès b. developed a style that was subtle, chic and casual all at once, which helped to turn the Parisian girl into a fashion icon, a “style, a state of mind.”
“Clothes, for me, are all about feeling in harmony with yourself to be able to think about something else. They are only a means. If I can help people to feel good, to feel attractive, so much the better, that’s what brings me pleasure.”
In 1973, agnès b. registered her brand name. The idea behind the name dates back to the 60s, when she was working for Elle magazine and one of her articles had to be signed. “I wasn‘t prepared. […] I said, ‘Just put agnès b.,’ as they do in news items, when they don’t use the full name. And then I devised the logo with my handwriting.”
1975, the first shop!
“For a long time, I wanted a place where I could show clothes which weren’t exactly styles, but very simple clothes and along with them a few pieces which would make them more feminine. I’m very fond of that mix of very simple, slightly rough clothes, and things which are softer.”
agnès b. opened her first store in an old butcher’s store in Les Halles in Paris in 1976, in the central market of the city. At the time, the area was going through a radical change. This first boutique served as both office and workshop, but it was also a focus for expression and encounters: on the walls there were posters and graffiti, you could sit and chat or listen to music, and birds flew freely around the store.
photo © archives agnès b., 1976
1979, the snap cardigan creation
“I wore white sweatshirts everyday and I wanted to make them more practical. I took a large pair of scissors and began cutting my sweatshirt without realizing that I was creating something!”
photo © archives agnès b., 1979
1980, opening in New York
The first agnès b. store in New York, and the first store to open outside France, opened in 1980 at 116 Prince Street in SoHo. In a process of change, the area was still industrial. “We felt like pioneers,” said agnès b., “like rue du Jour in Paris in the 70s.”
photo © archives agnès b., 1980
1981, first children store
“I’m always between two worlds, the adult world and the kids world.” agnès b. launched her children’s line and her first children’s store in 2 rue du Jour in Paris.
photo © agnès b., 1983
1981, first men's store
The original agnès b. at 3 rue du Jour became the first agnès b. men’s store.
photo © archives agnès b., 1981
1984, opening of the galerie du jour agnès b.
agnès b. opens the Galerie du Jour at 6 rue du Jour in Paris. “I wanted to create a gallery to be able to display what I like. It’s called a gallery but it could be called a place to show behind and beside the scenes, to show painting, sculpture, photographs and to try to invent new ways of disseminating the images, to make them accessible to all: drafts, stencils, screen prints, engravings, etc. You will also find exhibitions there put on by the galerie. The place is still rough, still a bit like a butcher’s shop. I hope that it will become a vibrant place people will want to come back to, and hang around.”
1984, agnès b. opens in Japan
agnès b. opens her first store in Japan and the success was immediate. Japanese customers loved the agnès b. style and the Aoyama store in Tokyo (named the Maison d’agnès) quickly became a destination.
1986, “photographs and the snap cardigan"
The snap cardigan is an iconic piece of clothing that agnès b. designed in 1979. Seven years later, she launched a photo series featuring the cardigan, photographed by many photographers from the time. The photos were first shown at the Galerie du Jour and then at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 1996. A worldwide tour followed in Japan, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and New York. A book was also published on this occasion.
1987, opening of the first store in London
The first store in London opens on Fulham Road
photo © archives agnès b., 1987
1993, agnès b. voyage
In 1993, agnès b. launched agnès b. Voyage, a collection of handbags, backpacks, and leather goods. Pure lines and beautiful materials are used in each collection.
1993, the Heart of Sarajevo
In 1993, as soon as the siege began, agnès b. drew a heart in honor of affected by the war. The heart was used on items sold in agnès b. shops and the proceeds were donated to Première Urgence, an organisation which supplied the inhabitants of the city with food and medicine. Today proceeds are distributed by the agnès b. Endowment Fund to benefit the Reconstruct Bosnia-Herzégovine through Education association established by General Divjak who organised the defense of Sarajevo during the war. The organisation assists war orphans or war disabled children in returning to school or university, and allows them to participate in educational and leisure activities.
1995, free condoms!
agnès b. began to offer free condoms in her shops to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
1995, agnès b. opens in Hong Kong
photo © archives agnès b., circa 2007
1996, the snap cardigan exhibition opens in Paris
The exhibition Des photographes et le cardigan pression opens at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. A photography exhibition featuring the agnès b. snap cardigan as the subject. Sixty four artists photographed the iconic piece in their own way.
photo © Dominique Issermann, 1986
1997, the "point d'ironie"
“It was my love of art that led me to the adventure of le Point d’Ironie, which we distribute around the world, in galleries, museums, cinemas and agnès b. stores. The idea was, in the era of electronics, to offer works on paper, to touch, to read, to frame, to file away…” Approximately 4-5 times a year, printing 100,000 - 300,000 copies each time, agnès b. gives carte blanche to an artist to create his or her own design. Created by the French writer Alcanter de Brahm at the end of the 19th century, the point of irony is a punctuation mark used at the end of sentences to show ironic meaning.
1999, launch of SPORT b.
A unisex collection for the sport inspired! Composed of cotton hooded t-shirts, shirts, fleece sweatshirts and sweatpants, jackets, and accessories… Sporty items that are comfortable and easy to wear!
agnès b.'s photography collection at CNP
Photographs from agnès b.’s personal art collection were exhibited at the Centre national de la photographie in Paris.
photo © Nat Finkelstein, 1968 © Andy Warhol, 1986
2003, agnès b. cinema opens in Hong Kong
The agnès b. cinema opens at the Hong Kong Arts Center.
photo © archives agnès b., 2005
2003, Tara Expéditions Foundation
Tara Expéditions is a French non-profit organization active since 2003 that organizes voyages to study and understand the impact of climate change and the ecological crisis facing the world's oceans. A legendary research schooner built for extreme conditions, Tara is the platform for scientific research missions.
2004, agnès b. collection at Les Abattoirs
Je m'installe aux Abattoirs. Artworks from agnès b.’s personal art collection were exhibited at Les Abattoirs, a modern and contemporary art museum in Toulouse, France.
photo © Ulrich Lebeuf, 2004
2006, collaboration with Veja
A collaboration with agnès b. two years after the creation of Veja. Ethical shoes, some values and an attention paid to the design, materials and colors.
A concept very attractive for agnès b.
2006, agnès b. celebrates 30 years at Olympia
A fashion show and a concert were organized at Olympia in Paris to celebrate the 30 years of the agnès b. brand. Patti Smith, a very close friend of agnès b., is among the invited guests to perform. Passionate about music which is for her “a real mythology for the young people and impact their manner of dress.”
2009, creation agnès b. endowment fund
Created in 2009, the goal of the agnès b. Endowment Fund is to put agnès b.’s social conscience into action, in the fight against social injustice, the protection of the environment, and not forgetting her permanent investment in culture and creation.
2009, launch of To b. by agnès b.
"To b. by agnès b.", a collection for the young ladies, the Lolita that agnès b. loves so much. “I imagine what I would like to wear at this age,” said agnès b.
2011, collaboration with Dim
A men’s and women’s underwear collection created with the French brand DIM.
2014, release of “Je m'appelle hmmm...”
First movie directed by Agnès Troublé known as agnès b. “My name is Hmmm…” is a fictionional film starring Douglas Gordon, Lou-Lélia Demerliac, Sylvie Testud, Jacques Bonnaffé, Marie-Christine Barrault and Jean-Pierre Kalfon. Released in France and also presented in film festivals worldwide.
2014, the singer Jain dressed by agnès b.
For her video "Come", French singer Jain choose a black and white dress with claudine collar, an iconic item designed by agnès b. Since their first meeting, agnès b. has regularly dressed the young artist.
2015, agnès b. at LAM
LaM, the modern and contemporary art museum in Lille, France, exhibited artworks from agnès b.’s personal contemporary art collection in the exhibition "Un regard sur la collection d'agnès b."
2016, Vivre !!
For the exhibition VIVRE !!, the Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration in Paris exhibited artworks from agnès b.’s personal contemporary art collection along with permanent pieces from the museum's collection.
2016, launch of agnès b. styliste
Published on the occasion of the 40 years of the agnès b. Brand, agnès b. STYLISTE features sketches, press clippings, photographs by agnès b., and the work of photographers Peter Lindbergh, Dominique Issermann, Ellen von Unwerth, Bruce Weber, Gilles Bensimon and Jean-Baptiste Mondino. agnès b. STYLISTE explores the far-reaching influence of the brand, celebrating the complexity and creativity of the agnès b. Universe.
photo © DR, 2016
2016, opening of agnès b. Versailles
photo © archives agnès b., 1976
2016, 40 years!
A fashion show presented at the Palais de Tokyo during Paris Fashion Week as a tribute to the 40 years of agnès b.’s designs. Each silhouette bears the signature look of the agnès b. brand.
2017, on aime l'art... !!
More than 400 works were exhibited at the Lambert Collection in Avignon, France, from agnès b.’s personal art collection for the exhibition On aime l’art…!!
photo © DR, 2016