History and background of Jean Patou. Jean Patou was born in Normandy, France, in 1880. Patou's father was a leading tanner (leather maker) and his uncle owned a fur business which Patou joined in 1907. In 1912 Patou opened Maison Parry, a small dressmaking salon in Paris, and sold his entire 1914 collection to one American buyer. His career was then interrupted by the war, which he spent as an army captain.