Was Gustave Eiffel the father of the suspender belt?
Here is one hard to shake legend. Just yesterday, chatting with friends, I heard that the revolutionary engineer Gustave Eiffel was also a designer of haute couture for ladies! And I remembered having heard that the Eiffel Tower was designed like a leg adorned with suspenders.
How did that rumour take shape? This is what I asked myself. Its origin comes from a farce, published in L’Écho des Savanes in 1983 and written by Jacques Lob, then a writer and cartoonist for the magazine. He was preparing a chronicle on the origins of the undergarment and invented an anecdote between Gustave Eiffel and his wife. According to Jacques Lob, Mr Eiffel was in the habit of joking about rebellious stockings. So, Mrs Eiffel tells him he should invent a system to resolve that problem…
To recognize its true paternity, Féréol Dedieu, a corset-maker, was in fact the inventor of the suspender belt!