"#RIP We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022. May his soul Rest In Peace," the message read, accompanied by a field of black — an image that was later updated to include an image of the designer in profile.
The notification also appeared in his native French.
He was truly a visionary. His designs shaped a fashion era and influenced a new generation of designers that weren’t afraid of taking risks. He was a pioneer in mixing art, fashion history music, advertising, technology & celebrity culture into a new form. RIP Thierry Mugler pic.twitter.com/sYaiwOkvrZ
Born Manfred Thierry Mugler on December 21, 1948, in Strasbourg, France, he began his formal training as a designer while still a teenager.
By 1971, he was working for Karim, and soon designed for Gudule. His first collection for himself, Café de Paris, was introduced in 1973. In 1978, he opened his boutique in Paris, where his work — saturated in expressionist takes on mid-century looks, including his trademark exaggerated shoulders — was immediately in hot demand.
Mugler's over-the-top shows were circus-like in scale and presentation, and he became a touchstone of bold, experimental fashion that reached its zenith with George Michael's 1992 "Too Funky" music video, directed by Mugler. It marked his movement away from design and into photography and film.
He was also a major force in the fragrance world, including the creations Angel, Angel Men, and Alien.
Once, retired from fashion, Mugler went by his given name, Manfred, and receded from the spotlight — but not completely. As his brand, rechristened MUGLER, transformed without him, he did design occasionally, including working on Beyoncé's 2009 I Am... world tour and Kim Kardashian's 2019 Met Gala look.
Mugler addressed his radically altered appearance, due in part to bodybuilding and in part to multiple surgeries, in a 2019 Interview Q&A with actress Tippi Hedren. He confirmed he had transformed his face after suffering accidents, and then deciding reconstruction should be about "pleasing myself."
He said, "There as all this anesthesia and stuff... so I said, 'Let's find a way to make this fun!' I asked another 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 on 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. I've done so much in my live. I've fought so much. I'm a superhero, so it's normal to have the face of one."