Family of the French-Italian fashion designer, Pierre Cardin, made the announcement of his demise today. He hailed for his creative designs but also for taking fashionable clothing to the masses. He died at 98.
Cardin, who was born to a low-income family in northern Italy but became a modeling sensation rooted in France, died in a hospital in the west of Paris in Neuilly, his family said.
For our entire house, it is a day of deep sorrow. There’s no more Pierre Cardin,” said the comment. It said he had given France and the world a “great unique artistic heritage” after a career covering a century, and not just in fashion.
His ancestors, born in poverty in 1922 near Venice in northern Italy, emigrated when he was a young child to France. His family said, “Italian by birth, while bringing unconditional love to France, Pierre Cardin never forgot his origins,”
He grew up in the French manufacturing town of Saint Etienne and was educated as a tailor in Vichy at the age of 17, already specialized in women’s suits, from apprentice to multinational empire. He traveled to Paris and designed the mesmerizing sets and costumes with the author, artist and director Jean Cocteau in 1947 for the film “Beauty and the Beast.”
He had already set up his own fashion company in 1950 after a spell with Christian Dior. As an innovator, he soon developed a reputation, producing the now iconic bubble dress in 1954. He also economically broke new ground, ruffling feathers in the retail establishment to create a ready-to-wear line for Printemps, a department store in Paris.
With its cut-out skirts, knitted catsuits, snug leather jackets, close-fitting helmets and batwing jumpers, his 1964 “Space Age” line remains a milestone in fashion history.
His multinational empire had a large influence in Japan, and in 1978 it also concluded development agreements with the Soviet Union in the Cold War period.
He also became the first French designer to cement ties to China in 1979. In 1991, he was also the first designer to stage a Red Square fashion show in Moscow, attracting an audience of 200,000.
His family celebrated how “early on into the flow of globalization” he had plummeted. But then, the much used and franchised Cardin brand showed signs of wear and, although it failed to sell, he put his fashion company up for sale in 2011.