Born Carmen de Tommaso, Madame Carven launched her couture label in 1945 quickly rising to prominence in what was still largely a male-dominated world. Carven's offering emanated a more youthful feel than many of her fellow couturiers, and also flattered the shape of young girls who, like the 5ft 1in designer, were not as statuesque as the models of the day
Carven was one of the first couture houses to launch ready-to-wear, and also raised its profile throughout France and beyond with popular fragrances including the most famous, Ma Griffe.
The designer's signature clean lines and simple, wearable shapes became the foundation for the launch of the Carven contemporary label in 2008, years after the couture house had closed its doors. Helmed by young designer Guillaume Henry, the label attracted celebrity fans including Alexa Chung and Victoria Beckham and reissued Ma Griffe to a new legion of customers.