Marc Vaughan, whose real name was Abdel Karim Ben Choubane, of Algerian nationality, was born in Algiers in 1932.
Coming from a family of judges, industrialists, doctors of the Law, artists and simple citizens, he benefited from a rigorous education, heavily influenced by a high sense of moral, social and professional rectitude.
In 1952, after graduating in the lycée Gautier, Marc Vaugham left Algiers. He visited Italy and France. Palermo, Rome, Florence and Venice, the Renaissance castles in the Loire area are the many cities and regions where he felt their strength and their beauty.
When he arrived in Paris, he registered in a pattern-making and high fashion school where he graduated. At the same time, between the courses, he went to the Louvre (up to three to four times a week) and visited the artistic and historical places of the capital, from the hotels and museums of the Marais district to the most emblematic places of the Left Bank. He also visited the castles in Ile-de-France.
In 1953, with the support of friends confident in his artistic and creative capacities, he established himself on avenue Kléber where he stayed until 1962, date of his move on rue François Ier.
In 1954, he took the name of Marc Vaughan.
In 1957, he was the first to democratize his haute couture designs in order to make them more readily available in ready-to-wear. He thus acquired his first foreign clients, mainly Swiss and American department stores.
It is during that same year 1957 that he met his wife, who was then a model. He married her in 1968 and from that date they were inseparable.
Art in creation is my reason
Marc Vaughan designed and created a lot, always alone. His drawings, his toiles, his models assert his total artistic independence. And it is in the Hotel Raphaël or Crillon salons that his collections are presented.
From 1962, with his move on rue François Ier, he extended and developed his clients’ network to the Scandinavian countries, Germany, England, the Benelux, Spain, Italy and Canada.
In 1964, in New York, the Hattie Carnegie House wants to reserve his collection even before it is designed. The turnover of the company that he has created in 1962 is for more than 95% made up by the export of his creations.
In 1965, the commission of Couture Creation, under the control of the Ministry of Industry, gave its agreement to Marc Vaughan in the “art and creation” section. Invited by the Siden Huset department store, he presented for the first time his Couture collection in the presence of the ambassador of France in Stockholm.
For the 1966 collection, designed since January 1965, Marc Vaughan used and grouped together the cubes, the pyramids, the squares, the rectangles, the obelisks ... He created there his most authentic creation based on angular forms inspired by the eye of a geometer.
It is at the same time that he created the cubic pants as well as the dress adaptable to pregnant women.
He maintained for some time the momentum of this collection, then after a few tests, some research and diversions, he returned to this pure architectural style, but in a softer form.
Many contracts are proposed to him that he will refuse for the most part, considering that they would deprive him of his artistic independence. However, he designs for companies like Havas or Thomson, customized hostesses uniforms according to the types of events.
The ready-to-wear clientele extended to Japan, Australia and France. He made clothes for the Countess Weleska, the Princess Marie-Clotilde Napoleon, Comtess de Witt and her daughters, Mrs Jean Rossignol, and many others.
He took part in thematic exhibitions and retrospectives, on the black dress for example.
Whilst the media or financial supports were lacking, Marc Vaughan created 4 collections each year, two in couture and two in ready-to-wear. It is a difficult and colossal work because, as he said: «the conception, the creation and the elaboration of a model always starts by a blank sheet and a pencil and this can end up after an indeterminate time.»
His pure and personal style, enriched by the silhouette of the woman has asserted itself. He has eliminated every artificial aspect. His collections, even if they oppose reading levels, according to some critics, make of him a creator who has known how to establish his own trend. He creates timeless models, he has kept his total independence and he is the disciple of no one.
The woman is his muse, he puts her on a pedestal and glorifies her. In the originality, in the simplicity, in any situation, she must be elegant, feminine and strive for perfection.
Marc Vaughan always remained extremely attached to his country of origin, Algeria, where he went very often and he appreciated in particular the solitude of the Sahara. In France, because of his Algerian nationality, he always respected the strictest duty of discretion.
His most burning wish would have been to be able to create and to establish in Algeria a school of pattern-making and of creation where he would have been able to bring his know-how and his experience.
Marc Vaughan was:
- an admirer of Monsieur Cristobal Balenciaga
- advised by Monsieur Christian Dior
- a member of the Chambre Syndicale of the Parisian Haute Couture
From 1957, he distributed his ready-to-wear in the following countries:
North America: USA (New York, Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, Huston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, Miami, Denver, Palm desert) and Canada (Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Montréal, Quebec).
South America: Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil.
Africa: Algeria (Algiers, Oran), South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg), Senegal, Ivory Coast .
Oceania: Australia (Sidney, Melbourne) and New Caledonia (Nouméa).
Asia : Japan (Tokyo)
Middle East: Lebanon.
Europe: The Marc Vaughan collections can be found in all the big European cities.