Visionary Fashion designer Pierre Cardin has sadly passed away at the age of 98.
Who was Pierre Cardin?
Born into poverty in 1922 near Venice in northern Italy, his family emigrated to France when he was still a child.
He grew up in the French industrial town of Saint Etienne. At the age of 17 he became an apprentice to a tailor in Vichy and was already specializing in women’s suits.
He then moved to Paris, where he designed the mesmerizing sets and costumes for the film “Beauty and the Beast” with poet, artist and director Jean Cocteau in 1947.
After a stint with Christian Dior, Cardin founded his own fashion house in 1950. In the following decades he built up a global business empire.
Cardin was a supreme innovator – for 70 years, he ripped up convention and captured the zeitgeist. His thirst for the new and surprising was never satisfied.
Cardin’s futuristic looks
Along with Paco Rabanne and Andre Courrege, Cardin was hailed for developing the futuristic Space-Age-inspired styles that defined looks in the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1954, he showcased the now-legendary bubble dress. A decade later, he unveiled the 1964 “Space Age” collection that remains a landmark in fashion history.
It was defined by cut-out dresses, knitted catsuits, tight leather pants, close-fitting helmets and batwing jumpers.
He was also credited with bringing stylish clothes to the masses, popularizing the turtleneck sweater for men and bodysuits for women.
Cardin was credited with helping revolutionise fashion with his futuristic designs in the 1960s and 70s. Which were mainly inspired by the Space Age, some were even impossible to wear. He was also a pioneer in business, licensing his name to be used on a range of products such as sunglasses.
Both businessman and designer
Cardin was the first designer to sell clothes collections in department stores in the late 1950s, and the first to enter the licensing business for perfumes, accessories and even food — now a major profit driver for many fashion houses.
His business sense was controversial. He sometimes faced criticism, accused of destroying the value of his brand and the notion of luxury in general. But he seemed largely unaffected by such comments.
“I don’t dream of money after all, but while I’m dreaming, I’m making money,” he told Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2007.
“It’s never been about the money.”
He died in hospital in Neuilly, near Paris, his family told the AFP news agency.
Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family at this time.
kmm,dj/rt (AFP, Reuters, dpa)
Image: Charles Platiau | Credit: Reuters
Sources : DW & Reuters