Jacques Griffe was born near Carcassonne, France, in 1917. His mother taught him sewing at a very young age and he was working for the local taylor when he was just 16 years old. His skills were expanded when he learned dressmaking at the house of Mirra, and he came to Paris with the proficiency needed for haute couture. He gained employment with Madeleine Vionnet who introduced him to unique ways of cutting, and the belief that draping cloth would relate to and enhance the female body. Griffe was one of the few designers of his generation who could take a concept and bring it to its full creation by draping, cutting and sewing all with his own hands. Griffe worked for Vionnet from 1936-39, then opened his own house on rue Gaillon in 1941. He was considered one of the top Haute Couture designers in Paris until he retired in 1968.