Dutch fashion designer Josephus Thimister dies of suicide at age 57!

The French Fashion Federation announced last Wednesday 13 November 2019 that the famous Dutch fashion designer Josephus Thimister has died. He was only 57 at the time of his death which was apparently a case of suicide.

Josephus Thimister and his untimely death

The well-known Dutch fashion designer who was a former artistic director at Balenciaga is dead. The French Fashion Federation stated this on Wednesday 13 November 2019. They said:

“It is with sadness that the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has learned of the passing away of Josephus Thimister, whose avant-garde style, elegance and skills in cutting have, for many years, contributed to the creative momentum in Paris,”

Josephus with his models (Source: Pinterest)

It was a case of apparent suicide and Josephus was only 57 when he died. No more details are out on it. But he probably had mental issues and depression. Luis Placido de Abreva who had once worked with him said:

“I never understood and still don’t how such an acclaimed talent could be at the same time forgotten by the fashion world,” 

Josephus Thimister and his life

Josephus Thimister was born in 1962 in Maastricht in Netherlands. He had a Russian-Dutch ethnicity which was, evident in his fashion designing. He completed his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. And embarked on a career in fashion designing.

One of Josephus’ collections (Source: France 24)

He joined Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Patou at the House of Patou in Paris. From 1991 to 1997, he worked as an artistic director for Balenciaga’s luxury ready-to-wear lines. The French Fashion Dictionary puts his work at Balenciaga as:

He’s made his mark at Balenciaga through his minimalist style and great skills in cutting in modernising the house’s image”.

Josephus Thimister sets up his own fashion house

After working for Balenciaga, Josephus set up his own fashion house in 1997. In 2005, he also joined French luxury footwear label Charles Jourdan and became its  head designer. The Belgian businesswoman who once backed him was Anne Chapelle and she called him a master.

Josephus and his Bloodshed and Opulence collection (Source: France 24)

However, due to the lack of funds and sufficient investment, Josephus had to close his fashion house in 2004. In 2005, he also joined French luxury footwear label Charles Jourdan and became its  head designer. In 2010, federation chief Didier Grumman persuaded Josephus to come back to the Paris couture.

Josephus Thimister and his new collection in Paris

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Josephus came from a war-ridden country. He was deeply influenced by it and expressed it in his art work and creations. He started the “Bloodshed and Opulence” fashion line. It comprised of Cossack jackets splattered with fake blood and trousers scorched with brown paint to resemble burns. But not all people liked his this idea. One critic commented:

“The collection is stark, bleak and disturbing.”

Josephus told in an interview at that time:

I am not a political person but fashion has a voice and it is time to express my views,”

Josephus lived in a black and white apartment (Source: Pinterest)

He continued:

“We are still feeling the aftershock of the Bolshevik Revolution and the rise of communism, when Europe fell apart.”

And We have never recovered. We have lost our soul and our spirit.”

Source: France 24