JEANNE ADÈLE BERNARD

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.

After training as a French literature teacher, at the age of 39 Jeanne Adèle Bernard found her true vocation in fashion. In 1909 she married Emile Sacerdote and opened her first boutique, as Jenny Sacerdote, in Paris.

She firmly believed that "clothes are made to be worn, not kept under glass."

Her favourite colour was deep pink.

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an honest and victorieuse woman...

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.

She used fashion as a means of expressing patriotic sentiment. Her "Généralissime" coat, for example, was one of her best-selling styles. 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. She was also the first couturier, in 1929, to reintroduce the Directoire style, the prelude to a new era that brought her even greater success…

birth of Jeanne Adèle Bernard in Périgueux (Dordogne) 1868

passes entrance exams for the Ecole Normale de Sèvres 1888

business partnership with Marie Le Corre 1908

Jenny et Cie boutique opens at 1, Rue de Castiglione in Paris 1909

marriage to Emile Sacerdote 1909

invents the boat neck, nicknamed "Jenny's neck" 1911

opens a second boutique in Biarritz at 10, Rue des Postes 1913

opens 22 workshops at 70 Avenue des Champs Elysées 1914

invents the "little grey suit" 1915

San Francisco World's Fair and Fête Parisienne in New York 1915

French seamstresses go on strike 1917

presents her largest collection ever with 300 designs 1918

1919 first Parisian collection in the Directoire style

1921 Jenny's designs are the most stylish of all

1922 Jenny Sacerdote is the most talked-about couture house in the press

1923 buys the Bishops' Summer Palace at Château l’Evêque in Dordogne

1925 Pavillon de l’Elégance at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris

1926 Jeanne is the second woman to be awarded the Legion of Honour

1928 Grand Prix de l’Elégance

1930 Miss France wears Jenny's designs at the Miss Universe competition in Rio

1933 the business moves to 8, Rue Royale in Paris

1938 sets up a new business, Jenny-Paray, with Lucile Paray

1940 closes her couture house and divorces Emile Sacerdote

1962 Jeanne dies in Nice