French Fashion Designer, Pierre Cardin Dies At 98
Legendary designer Pierre Cardin, whose futuristic and stylish designs helped revolutionise fashion in the 1950s and 60s, has died at the age of 98.
The French fashion giant, whose career spanned more than 70 years, helped usher in the post-war “golden age” of couture with his modern style.
He broke ground by bringing designer styles to the masses with some of the first ready-to-wear collections.
A business pioneer, he also licensed his name for a wide range of products.
He died in hospital in Neuilly, near Paris, his family told the AFP news agency.
“It is a day of great sadness for all our family. Pierre Cardin is no more,” they said in a statement. “We are all proud of his tenacious ambition and the daring he has shown throughout his life.”
After the news was announced, his official Instagram account posted one of his quotes: “I have always worked in my own style, which is different from all others. It was always my intention to be different, because that is the only way to last.”
The fashion world paid tribute, with fellow French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier thanking him for “opening the doors to fashion and for making my dream possible.”
Cardin was born in Italy in 1922 but moved to France as a child. He began his fashion career in Paris working for firms including Christian Dior, for whom he helped create the New Look collection in 1947.
He set up his own fashion company in 1950 and made his name with visionary designs like the iconic bubble dress in 1954 and his Space Age collection in 1964.
At the end of the 1950s, he launched his first ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps department store. While pop stars and actors like the Beatles and Lauren Bacall were seen wearing Cardin, his cutting-edge designs were also within reach of ordinary customers.
With a savvy business sense, he also came to recognise the appeal of the name on the label, and allowed his to be used on goods ranging from sunglasses to perfume, pens and food. However, to some, that expansion diluted the appeal of his core business.