Françoise Bouthillier is a businesswoman and fashion designer specialized in high-end children’s clothing. She first became known for her eponymous brand of ready-to-wear for girls in the late 1970s. Her creations were sold in the United States, Japan, the Middle East and Europe.
Graduating in visual arts from the École des arts appliqués de Montréal, Françoise Bouthillier began her career by teaching art for several years. In 1976, she started a home-based business making clothes for little girls. Two years later, she incorporated a company under her name and set up an atelier on St. Elzéar Boulevard in Laval, where she managed a staff of approximately 15 employees.
In the early 1990s, Creations Françoise Bouthillier, which sold clothing around the world, took part in the childrenswear trade show in Florence, Italy, marking the occasion by launching eau de toilette Françoise Bouthillier.
From 1988 to 1992, the company extended its product line to include Charles-Édouard, a clothing label for little boys four and under.
Although the company went out of business in 2001, two years later Françoise Bouthillier launched another high-end girls’ clothing brand called Mademoiselle Charlotte par Françoise Bouthillier.
These garments were sold in her atelier/store on Montreal’s St. Lawrence Boulevard and in some 60 stores in Canada and the United States. Some time before selling the company to one of her associates, Françoise Bouthillier changed the name to Mademoiselle Charlotte Couture. It remained in operation until 2015.
In the mean time, Françoise Bouthillier turned to arts and crafts, launching Tout Laine with Nicole Clément. This company made hand-knit teddy bears, which were sold notably at home furnishings store Safran on Bernard and at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts gift shop until 2017, when Françoise Bouthillier retired.
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor