Jean Desses was born Jean Dimitre Verginie in Alexandria, Egypt, to Greek parents. He studied law in college but in 1925 he abandoned his legal studies and began working for Maison Jane, a Parisian couture house. In 1937, he opened his own couture salon in Paris where soon found fame dressing the well heeled women of the world in his timeless and elegant creations. His most famous works were of pleated silk chiffon, but his talent stretched well beyond into ball gowns, day dresses and delightful suits. He retired from his Paris house in 1963.