Pierre Cardin, ground-breaking designer, dies at 98


Designer Pierre Cardin poses through the Pierre Cardin Paris Haute Couture New Assortment launch at Maxim’s on November 26, 2013 in Paris.

Richard Bord | Getty Photographs

Pierre Cardin, who throughout his greater than seven many years in vogue introduced geometric shapes to high fashion and put his identify on all the pieces from clothes to furnishings to fragrance to pens, died Tuesday. He was 98.

His demise was introduced by composer Laurent Petitgirard, perpetual secretary of the French Academy of Effective Arts.


Cardin died in a hospital in Neuilly within the west of Paris, his family told Agence France-Presse.

Cardin went from the world of bespoke excessive vogue for personal shoppers to ready-to-wear designs for the plenty.

“They mentioned pret-a-porter will kill your identify, and it saved me,” Cardin as soon as mentioned.

The son of a rich wine service provider, Cardin was born close to Venice on July 2, 1922. He and his household moved from Fascist Italy to France when he was 2.

Cardin was solely 14 when he began as a tailor’s apprentice. At 23, he moved to Paris, finding out structure and dealing with the Paquin vogue home and later with Elsa Schiaparelli. Within the French capital, he met the movie director Jean Cocteau and helped design masks and costumes for the 1946 movie “La Belle et La Bete.”

 He moved to Christian Dior in 1946, working as a sample cutter on the female “New Look” vogue of post-World Warfare II. 4 years later, he opened his personal vogue home, designing costumes for theater.

In 1953, he introduced his first girls’s assortment and the next yr, he based his first girls boutique, Eve, and unveiled the bubble gown. The garment, a loose-fitting gown that gathers on the waist and hem and balloons on the thighs, gained worldwide acclaim. Quickly, his fashions had been being worn by such bold-face names as Eva Peron, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau, Mia Farrow and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Pierre Cardin at opening of Musee Pierre Cardin on November 13, 2014 in Paris.

Pascal Le Segretain | Getty Photographs

In 1957, he traveled to Japan, turning into one of many first European designers to discover Asian influences. He later was a pioneer in getting China to interrupt out of its drab, militaristic Mao Zedong look.

Additionally in 1957, he opened one other Paris boutique, this time for males and referred to as Adam, and that includes colourful ties and printed shirts. He later made the enduring collarless fits for The Beatles and helped gown such shoppers as Gregory Peck. Rex Harrison and Mick Jagger.

“Earlier than me, no designer made garments for males, solely tailors did,” Cardin mentioned in a 2009 interview posted by Agence France-Presse. “At this time the picture of designers is extra centered on males than on girls, proper or fallacious. So I used to be proper 40, 50 years in the past.”

In 1959, he shocked the style world by presenting a ready-to-wear present at a division retailer, Printemps in Paris. Following the present, he was expelled from the elite Chambre Syndicale, the French affiliation of high fashion designers. (He was later reinstated.)

French designer Pierre Cardin who opened his personal vogue home in 1950.

Reg Lancaster | Getty Photographs

Over-the-top fashions from out of this world

With the arrival of U.S.-Russia house race within the late Nineteen Fifties and ’60s, he launched the “Cosmocorps” assortment — over-the-top unisex fashions from out of this world. His Area Age look included helmets, google, tunics and thigh-high boots.

“My favourite garment is the one I invent for a life that doesn’t but exist, the world of tomorrow,” he said.

Or as he put it within the 2009 interview with AFP: “Style and design will not be the identical. Style is what you’ll be able to put on. Design could be disagreeable and unpopular but it surely’s inventive. So design is the place the true worth lies.”

By the Seventies, he grew to become a pioneer in branding, placing his identify on virtually all the pieces, together with vehicles — American Motors Corp.’s Cardin AMX Javelin beginning in 1971 — fragrance, pens, cigarettes, even sardines. He was dubbed a “branding visionary” by The New York Instances, which famous in a 2002 piece that some 800 merchandise bearing his identify had been being bought in additional than 140 nations, bringing in $1 billion a yr.

In 1981, he purchased one in every of Paris’ best-known names, Maxim’s restaurant, reportedly for more than $20 million.

“I’ve finished all of it! I even have my very own water! I will do perfumes, sardines. Why not? Through the struggle, I might have moderately smelled the scent of sardines than of fragrance. If somebody requested me to do rest room paper, I would do it. Why not?” he mentioned within the 2002 interview with the Instances.

He beloved to make use of geometric and bizarre designs. He developed a material, Cardine, for embossing summary shapes on clothes. One in all his residences was the Palais Bulles (Bubble Palace), a weird assortment of round buildings — a la “The Flintstones” meet “The Jetsons” — overlooking the Mediterranean close to Cannes.

At his Palais Bulles, Pierre Cardin celebrates his eightieth birthday and 50 years of vogue designing in Might 2003.

Alain Benainous | Getty Photographs

He additionally owned and restored Marquis de Sade’s castle in Provence, the place he hosted concert events and opera performances. “Cardin has excellent pitch of the attention,” Architectural Digest mentioned in a 2007 story in regards to the restoration of the chateau, initially constructed within the fifteenth century. 

Cardin, regardless of being homosexual, had a five-year affair with Moreau, “queen of the French New Wave cinema.” Through the affair, he maintained a relationship together with his longtime creative director and life associate, Andre Oliver, in keeping with The Hollywood Reporter. Oliver died in 1993.

Cardin’s fascination with house took him to NASA, the place he tried on an Apollo 11 house swimsuit in 1971, two years after the primary lunar touchdown. In 2019, 50 years after the primary lunar touchdown, the Brooklyn Museum staged a Cardin retrospective. In the catalog, he was requested about his imaginative and prescient of vogue a half century into the long run:

“In 2069, we are going to all stroll on the moon or Mars sporting my ‘Cosmocorps’ ensembles. Girls will put on Plexiglas cloche hats and tube clothes. Males will put on elliptical pants and kinetic tunics.”

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