Rochas began as a French fashion house founded by Marcel Rochas in 1925. From 1925 until 1953, when the haute couture division closed its doors, Marcel Rochas dressed women in forward-thinking fashions that also celebrated traditional feminine silhouettes. Anticipating the needs of modern women in the early-to-mid 20th century, Rochas was the first to design 2/3-length coats and skirts with pockets. He also created the “mermaid” dress, which continues to inspire women’s dress designs today.
The company expanded its offerings to include fragrances, starting with a trio of perfumes, Avenue Matignon, Air Jeune and Audace, in 1934. The perfumes were taken off the market during World War II, but the company’s most famous fragrance, the classic Femme, was launched in 1943 and remains a perennial best-seller. Rochas was an early adapter of the cross-sale and marketed lipstick and stockings as companion pieces to Femme. The company’s first men’s fragrance, Moustache, was launched in 1949.