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A picture-based history of Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Le Male'

Jean Paul Gaultier presents DJ Fat Tony at the Brighton Pride digital Warm-up Party, this Friday 31 July from 8-10pm on the Attitude YouTube channel.

2020-07-28

Everyone knows the iconic Jean-Paul Gaultier ‘Le Male’ fragrance bottles.

Emblazoned with the sailor-stripes motif that is synonymous with the designer and his brand, the bottle in the shape of a supersculpted man’s torso has been through many wonderful iterations.

(Image: Jean-Baptiste Mondino)

Featuring in both the fragrance and clothing collections of JeanPaul Gaultier, the sailor stripe has become the beating heart of the brand’s aesthetic.

(Image: Jean-Baptiste Mondino)

The designer’s use of the mariniére sailor iconography was inspired by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1982 film, Querelle, whose main character was described by Gaultier as a “hypersexualised gay symbol”.

(Image: Jean-Baptiste Mondino)

The designer’s legendary sailor was brought to life by JeanBaptiste Mondino, who shot many of the Gaultier advertising campaigns and filled them with robust, lusty sailors that made our mouths water.

(Image: Jean-Baptiste Mondino)

Despite the stunning advertising imagery and the beauty of the striking bottle, it is the Le Male fragrance that is the key to its enduring appeal.

(Image: Jean-Baptiste Mondino)

With a top note of mint, heart note of lavender and a base note of vanilla, it has ensured that Jean-Paul Gaultier and the sailor have been anchored in the fragrance world and our hearts for decades.

(Image: Jean-Baptiste Mondino)

And now, in 2019, Le Male remains as recognisable as ever. Ahoy there!

2019 Le Male models (from top): Jhonattan Burjack, Augusta Alexander and Chris Bunn (Image: Gorka Postigo)

Jean Paul Gaultier presents DJ Fat Tony at the Brighton Pride digital Warm-up Party, this Friday 31 July from 8-10pm on the Attitude YouTube channel.