Historians recognize Charles Frederick Worth as the first traditional fashion designer. Referred to as the "Father of Haute Couture," Worth pioneered the creation of garments with a unique style tied to a fashion house. Worth was also the first person to sew labels with his name into clothes.

Worth opened his design house in 1858. The patronage of the French Empress Eugénie increased his popularity in the 1860s, and in the 1870s fashion magazines featured his dresses.

The House of Worth also became famous for showing a variety of finished garments on live models. Clients could order a copy of a dress which would then be made to fit their measurements.