Lesage, François (1929-2011)

Francois Lesage, 1929-2011. Francois Lesage, 1929-2011.

François Lesage was a French embroidery designer and director of the embroidery atelier of Maison Lesage, Paris. Lesage had the nickname 'Mr Buttons'. He was born in Chaville, France, on 31 March 1929, the son of Albert Lesage and Marie-Louise Favot (a model working for the famous fashion designer, Madeleine Vionnet). He inherited the Maison Lesage from his father in 1949.

François Lesage became well-known for his embroidery work for the French haute couture houses in Paris. He was able to maintain his business throughout the late twentieth century, when many other traditional embroidery houses in France disappeared.

Under Lesage, the House had many fashion clients, including Balenciaga, Balmain, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Elsa Schiaparelli, Vionnet and Yves Saint-Laurent. In 2002 Maison Lesage was sold to the fashion house of Chanel, which had started to buy up many Parisian petites mains ('small hands', ateliers and artisans known for their fine handwork), to help ensure their survival in a changing fashion industry.

In 2007 François Lesage was made an officer in the Légion d’Honneur, a prestigious French award. Lesage was also awarded the Maître d'Art by the French Ministry of Culture in November 2011, one week before his death. At the time, the Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand said, “I cannot imagine fashion without embroidery, embroidery without Monsieur Lesage,” (Susannah Frankel, The Independent, 02-12-2011). His son Jean-François Lesage is also an embroiderer and has carried on the family tradition of embroidering.

See also the École Lesage.


  • 'François Lesage dies at 82; French embroidery king.' Associated Press (Los Angeles Times). 2011-12-03. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
  • 'François Lesage obituary.' The Telegraph. 2011-12-02. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
  • Frankel, Susannah (2011-12-02). 'Farewell to man who gave haute couture its shimmer.' The Independent. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
  • Wilson, Eric (2011-12-01). 'François Lesage, Who Led Embroidery Atelier, Dies at 82.' New York Times. Retrieved 2011-12-21.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 5 June 2016).


Last modified on Friday, 12 August 2016 14:10