Jean Patou can be seen as one of the first true sportswear designers. Best known for his cubist sweaters, Patou outfitted the newly athletic woman of the 1920’s including Suzanne Lenglen, the 1921 Wimbledon tennis star. Her endorsement allowed Patou to open a full service sports boutique, Le Coin des Sports, in 1925. He carried stylist clothing for boating, horseback riding, skiing, and more with a full room of styles for each sport.
Patou believed in simple, elegant designs that were functional in sporting but could also be worn during daily life. He focused on embroidery, adding monogrammed embellishments, and comfortable fits in all of his clothing. Patou is known for his rivalry with Coco Chanel during the 1920’s as both designers were focusing on the newly developing leisure fashion market.