Paris, 29 December 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Pierre Cardin, a designer who revolutionized fashion and built a couture empire, has died at the age of 98, the French news agency AFP reported, quoting family sources.
With Cardin, France has lost one of the greatest visionaries in fashion, known for co-developing futuristic fashion and marketing his name worldwide.
The designer was born in Italy on July 2, 1922 as the son of a French wine merchant. After World War II, he started to work as a fashion illustrator in Paris at the Paquin fashion house.
Shortly after, he moved on to Christian Dior, where he helped create the legendary “New Look” in 1947. Three years later, he founded his own haute couture company.
Cardin continued to design collections into old age.
Along with Paco Rabanne and Andre Courreges, Cardin was considered the inventor of futuristic fashion.
In the early 1960s, he sent his models down the catwalk in astronaut-like suits and helmets.
Among his most successful creations were geometrically cut mini dresses with shooting target patterns and skirts with vinyl stripes.
The industry veteran was the first couturier to launch a pret-a-porter collection – and the first to lend his name to countless products such as furniture, mineral water, record players and cars.
Cardin was also ahead of his time in other ways: He put out feelers to the former Soviet Union earlier than anyone else and was among the first to bet on the Chinese market.
His tailoring made Cardin one of the richest men in France. He leaves behind a fashion empire of hundreds of factories and licences worldwide.