Though Christian Dior once called James "the greatest talent of my generation," his name may not ring a bell with you. And you're not alone. The day before he died, penniless, estranged from friends, and addicted to drugs, he told medics, "It may not mean anything to you . . . but I am what is popularly regarded as the greatest couturier in the Western world."
So what happened? Seems James was a genius designer and a terrible businessman who overdiversified his company, faced litigation with his licensees, fell into $197,000 worth of debt, and inevitably had his showroom seized by the IRS.
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art