Who is France’s hottest new couture lingerie designer? None other than Zahia Dehar, Karl Lagerfeld’s 20-year-old muse and protege who used to be an underage escort in Paris.
Dehar is perhaps best known for one particular client, Franck Ribery. He’s the popular international footballer from a poor background -- scarred by a car accident -- who married his childhood girlfriend, was a devoted dad and an devout, admired convert to Islam.
When news broke that he allegedly had flown a then-17 Dehar to Germany for a liasion, it sparked one of biggest sex scandals to hit the French sports world.
But the Algerian-born Dehar, now known – like Madonna – only by her first name, was rescued by Lagerfeld, befriended by Jean Paul Gaultier and fashion photographer Ellen Von Unwerth, and was reborn as a luxury lingerie designer.
Lagerfeld calls her a flashback to France's 18th-century courtesans, beautiful well-paid mistresses of the rich and powerful, in "a purely French tradition that the whole world admired and copied."
Her first big lingerie show was in January 2012. Her second took place during Paris Couture Week in July, in which French celebrities fought for front row seats to watch models emerge from refrigeratores as cupcakes, or wrapped in ribbons as gifts. Dehar herself popped out of a plastic box, looking like a giant Barbie doll.
All we can say is: move over Victoria’s Secret. Zahia's lingerie designs are pretty fantastic, plus she's got a real rags-to-riches life story and some pretty savvy marketing minds behind her. French actress Isabelle Adjani has even said that she wants to do a film about Dehar's life.