Jeanne Adèle Bernard was born on January 27, 1868 in Périgueux, Dordogne, of unknown father. Her mother Anne is a tailor, her grandmother Jeanne is a seamstress. Jeanne studies very carefully, and wishes to become a professor of French literature. As a revenge on life, she joined the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Sèvre, but at the age of 39, her passion for the arts distracted her from her vocation. She decides to go back on the matriarchal path to work in fashion, as well.
Coming to Paris, Jeanne finally made her debut, in 1907, at Béchoff-David, famous fashion house that has just moved to Place Vendôme. The following year, Jeanne Paquin hired her as a studio premiere in her shop, rue de la Paix, while the brand is in full swing internationally.
Jeanne opened her own shop in Paris in 1909, then in Deauville in 1910. She firmly believed that “clothes are made to be worn, not kept under glass.” Praised for her signature style of simple dresses, as early as 1912 Jeanne was making headlines in the trade press as an arbiter of style.
Jeanne made a point of working with some of the most promising young talent, insisting on designs that were striking yet simple to flatter every silhouette.
During world war I, he used fashion as a means of expressing patriotic sentiment. Her “Généralissime” coat, for example, was one of her best-sellers. Her “Jenny’s neck” made her the most popular French couturier in the United States. No fashionable Parisienne was without her “little grey suit” from Jenny Sacerdote.
In 1926 she became the second ever woman to be made a Knight of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest distinction, for services to fashion…