"male dressmaker or fashion designer," 1885, originally as a French word in English, from French couturier, from couture "sewing, dressmaking" (see couture). Couturière "female dressmaker" is attested in English from 1818.
THE couturier—the bearded dressmaker, the masculine artist in silk and satin—is an essentially modern and Parisian phenomenon. It is true the elegant and capricious Madame de Pompadour owed most of her toilets and elegant accoutrements to the genius of Supplis, the famous tailleur pour dames, or ladies' tailor, of the epoch. But Supplis was an exception and he never assumed the name of couturier, the masculine form of couturière, "dress-maker." That appellation was reserved for the great artists of the Second Empire, Worth, Aurelly, Pingat, and their rivals, who utterly revolutionized feminine costume and endeavored to direct it in the paths of art, good taste, and comfort. ["The Parisian Couturier," Lippincott's Magazine, October 1885]
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