Christian Dior (January 21, 1905 - October 24, 1957) was an influential French fashion designer. In 1946 he established
his main house of couture in Paris. in twelve years he expanded his business to 15 countries and employed over 2,000 people.
Dior is known mainly for the 1947 "New Look" which employed narrow shoulders, constricted waist, emphasized bust, and long,
wide skirt. His designs represented consistent classic elegance, stressing the feminine look. After his death, the firm continued
under Yves St. Laurent, Marc Bohan, and Gianfranco Ferre.
France Telecom is the main telecommunication company in France. It employs about 189,000 people and has nearly
90 million customers worldwide, including the French Départements d'outre mer. In 2000, it had an annual revenue of 33.7 billion
Euros. Up to 1988, France Telecom was known as the Direction Générale des Télécommunications, a division of the Ministry
of Posts and Telecommunications. It became autonomous in 1991. It ceased to be a state monopoly on January 1 1998. France
Telecom owns several subsidiaries, like Wanadoo (first ISP in France, second in Europe) and Orange (first mobile phone company
Total is a French oil company. Total merged with the Belgian Petrofina, and afterwards also with the French Elf
Aquitaine. First name TotalFinaElf, later renamed to Total. The company is headquartered in Paris, France.
SNCF, Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français, is the French national railway company. Created January
1, 1938. It uses the IATA designator 2C in relation to journeys codeshared by airlines. SNCF operates almost all of France's
railway system, including the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, literally "high-speed train"). SNCF codeshares with American
Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways, and Emirates and in exchange,
allows passengers on those flights to book rail service between Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy (near Paris)
and Angers, Avignon, Bordeaux, Le Mans, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nimes, Poiters, Rennes, Tours, and Valence
with their airline.
The Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) is the major transit authority responsible for public
transportation in Paris and its environs. Its operational divisions include the Paris Metro system, the RER, an extensive
bus system, and two light rail lines. The RATP was created on March 21, 1948, by combining the assets of the Compagnie
du Chemin de Fer Métropolitain de Paris (CMP), which operated the Paris Metro, and the Société des Transports en Commun
de la Région Parisienne (STCRP), which operated the city's bus system. Earlier, the CMP had absorbed the Société du
Chemin de Fer Electrique Nord-Sud de Paris in 1930 and the Ligne de Sceaux in 1937. The STCRP had been created on January
1, 1921 by the merger of about half a dozen independent bus and streetcar operators in the Paris area. By the time the STCRP
was merged into the RATP, all its streetcars had been replaced by bus routes. Ironically, there are now projects of creating
new light rail lines, most notably as a replacement for the Petite Ceinture bus line going over the Marshals' Boulevard.