Christian Dior and model Victoire, 1953. She wears Victorine dress, Autumn-Winter 1953 Haute Couture collection, Vivante line.

“He had very warm and close relationships with others. But behind all that, behind the bonhomie…there was a good deal of tenacity. When talking with him, one clearly understood that he was profoundly determined.” — The late fashion and arts patron Pierre Bergé

Christian Dior would sometimes make his driver circle around the block three times because he didn’t have the courage, the strength to go inside. Because the workload was too heavy. You know, fashion is an extremely demanding occupation, there is no other artistic occupation like it. A writer who doesn’t write, it’s not the end of the world, he will write next year. A painter who doesn’t finish a canvas will finish it two weeks later, or never. Designers have to show their work on a given day, at a set time.” — Pierre Bergé

“Christian loved traveling to small towns or little French villages. He would go, sit in a bistro and order a drink and he would be perfectly happy.” — French literary figure Edmonde Charles-Roux

“He was terribly upset that his parents didn’t approve of him being a couturier. They wanted him to be a bureaucrat. He was a very good son and took care of his parents when they were sick. He was someone with a lovely human side.” — Edmonde Charles-Roux

“He was a brilliant talker when he was in a good mood and there were just a few friends around — very curious about people, and happy to hear all about Mr. or Mrs. Whatnot.” — Edmonde Charles-Roux

“There was something of a countryside priest about him. There was something smooth and very, very courteous. I never saw him raise his voice and his face was always all smiles — absolutely charming and courteous.” — Leslie Caron, who danced in Dior costumes in the Roland Petit ballet “Treize Danses”

“He was very kind, fatherly.” — Leslie Caron

“He was a fairly bourgeois man, quite plump if one may say so, despite his very young age[…]. He had trouble getting around. He had a very sweet tooth and ate candy nonstop, nonstop.” — Pierre Cardin, who worked on Christian Dior’s first collection

“When there was the queen or a royal family, he would sometimes attend fittings, not always, because he wasn’t very comfortable […]. He had a very average physique. He wasn’t attractive, if you will. You wouldn’t approach him spontaneously. You would have to know first that he was extremely brilliant.” — Pierre Cardin

“He taught me elegance.” — Pierre Cardin

“He was a slightly secretive man.” — Victoire Doutreleau, one of Dior’s favorite models

“Obviously he created me, since he christened me Victoire, which was already not an easy name to carry. Then he taught me to walk, he trained me…but always in the kindest possible way.” — Victoire Doutreleau

“I saw a charming tall man in a white coat coming towards me, and I was very surprised. I thought to myself, ‘My Lord! In a white coat! That is not at all how I imagined a couturier!’” — Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, on meeting Dior as a child

“It was very impressive to find yourself before this imposing man, really, given his size[…]. But he was like all great people who have succeeded, that is, immensely kind.” — Jean-Louis Scherrer, who began his career working for Dior

“Monsieur Dior, when he arrived in his Rolls [Royce] and got out to walk to the elevator, honestly — I swear this is true — he let a seamstress go before him. He just found it completely normal. So when you have witnessed that, you realize what makes an exceptional man.” — Jean-Louis Scherrer