Marithe + Francois Girbaud

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Marithé François Girbaud is an international French based clothing company founded in 1969 by husband and wife, François and Marithé Girbaud. In the United States, the brand gained popularity in the suburban and urban communities of the United States, mostly Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and San Francisco. The company is specializes in unique casual clothing, especially jeans using unique styling and fabricates for comfort. The flagship stores are located in Paris and Beverly Hills. The company developed many firsts in its 40 years in the industry. Notably in 1977 they launched the first baggy jeans. This innovative style was received warmly by people all around the world. In 1980, the company changed the face of denims by launching the stylish X-pocket. In 1982, Marithe + Francois Girbaud extended their fashionable reach to the American market by having Jennifer Beals of Flash Dance as their spokesperson. Three years later, they opened their emblematic store along the sophisticated Parisian street of Etienne Marcel. After this, they launched the “African cut,” which helped revolutionize the face of American street style. Marithe + Francois Girbaud’s “African cut” jeans became famous in American cities because of its loose fit. The early 90’s Marithe + Francois Girbaud proved that it is more than just clothes. In 1992, they launched a peace movement spearheaded by its North America division. It aimed to help the youth avoid violence. In 1998, the brand earned some popularity within the hip hop world as musician Juvenile showed his appreciation for Marithe + Francois Girbaud Jeans as he released the song. The line “You got lots of Girbaud jeans, ha?” reflects the Louisianan devotion for its jeans. This 2005 ad was banned in France and Italy for its ‘malicious’ depiction of the Last Supper. In 2005, Marithe + Francois Girbaud launched a controversial ad campaign featuring the epic Last Supper scene wherein the apostles where replaced by ladies. The company cites the ad as a tribute to “women.” Unfortunately, it was banned in France and Italy because of its “malicious” representation of the very foundations of the Catholic religion. In a statement from the Istituto di Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria they said: “This kind of image, with a high concentration of theological symbols, cannot be recreated and parodied for commercial ends without offending the religious sensitivities of at least part of the population”. However with all of its successes and scandals in the fashion industry, Marithe + Francois Girbaud continues to be a pioneer in the market.

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