Christian Lacroix was born in Arles, France, and showed an interest in fashion at a young age. He studied art history at the University of Montpellier, and in 1971, he enrolled at the prestigious Paris Sorbonne where he focused on historical costumes, as well as museum studies with the idea of becoming a museum curator.
While at the Sorbonne, Lacroix met and married his wife, Franoise Rosenthiel. He worked as an assistant at Hermes in 1978. After a stint with the Imperial Japanese Court, he worked with Jean Patou starting in 1981.
Lacroix opened his own fashion house in 1987, and by the following year, was introducing a line of ready-to-wear clothing for women. He expanded in 1989 by adding handbags, glasses, shoes, ties and scarves, while opening multiple stores in France, Japan, Switzerland and England.
Lacroix's background in costume history was evidenced in his fanciful outfits. His puffed skirt, called le pouf, alongside corsets and crinolines, set the stage for signature outfits. His designs were criticized by some as being out of touch with what women wanted. His menswear line was introduced in 2005. The company sustained significant losses between 1987 and 2005 after it was purchased by Falic Fashion Group.
Lacroix's first fragrance, C'est La Vie, was introduced in 1990. He partnered with Avon in 2007 and released fragrances for women and men. As of 2014, his latest fragrance is C`est la Fete Patchouli for women. It was released in 2008.