Dutch designer Josephus Thimister has died at the age of 57. The edgy designer was best known for his time at Balenciaga back in 1992-1997, in which he then passed on the baton to now renowned designer Nicolas Ghesquiere. In addition to his stint at Balenciaga, Thimister was famous for owning his own eponymous label featuring RTW and couture, and for his contribution to other brands such as Italian label Genny and Charles Jourdan from 2005-2007. His work was described by critics as raw, bleak, austere and fiercely individual.
It was in 1997 when Thimister launched his very own RTW and couture brand — presenting fashion shows on and off until 2011. Known for his cutting skill and his fondness for the severe and eerie, Thimister had an aptitude towards theatrical flourishes and unparalleled creations.
According to the thumbnail biography comprised by Thimister’s longtime Paris PR firm 2eme Bureau, the dutch designer had a brief stint in Karl Lagerfeld’s studio, as well as working alongside Jean Patou — prior to being appointed director of luxury prêt-à-porter at the renowned house of Balenciaga.
“The creations of Thimister possess a certain lightness and poetry, which creates an elegance devoid of any vanity,” the biography reads. It also cites his use of unconventional materials.
The dutchman, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, was named by Anna Wintour in 2001 as one of the twenty-first best fashion designers. In his most recent role, he served as a consultant on Emilio Pucci’s Spring 2018 collection.
“It is with sadness that The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has learned the passing away of Josephus Thimister (1962-2019) whose avant-garde style, elegance and skills in cutting have, for many years, contributed to the creative momentum in Paris,” the French fashion’s governing body said in a statement.