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Pierre Cardin, ground-breaking fashion designer, dies at 98


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

Richard Bord | Getty Images

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

“It is with great sadness that the members of the Academy of Fine Arts announce the death of their fellow member Pierre Cardin,” the French Academy of Fine Arts tweeted.

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

“It is a day of great sadness for all our family. Pierre Cardin is no more,” the household mentioned in a press release. “We are all proud of his tenacious ambition and the daring he has shown throughout his life.”

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

“They said pret-a-porter will kill your name, 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 fashion home and later with Elsa Schiaparelli. In 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” fashion of post-World War II. Four years later, he opened his personal fashion home, designing costumes for theater.

In 1953, he offered his first girls’s assortment and the next 12 months, he based his first women boutique, Eve, and unveiled the bubble costume. The garment, a loose-fitting costume that gathers at the waist and hem and balloons at the thighs, gained worldwide acclaim. Soon, his fashions have 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 Images

In 1957, he traveled to Japan, changing 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.

Also 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 costume such shoppers as Gregory Peck. Rex Harrison and Mick Jagger.

“Before me, no designer made clothes for men, only tailors did,” Cardin mentioned in a 2009 interview posted by Agence France-Presse. “Today the image of designers is more focused on men than on women, right or wrong. So I was right 40, 50 years ago.”

In 1959, he shocked the fashion 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 fashion designer Pierre Cardin who opened his personal fashion home in 1950.

Reg Lancaster | Getty Images

Over-the-top fashions from out of this world

With the arrival of U.S.-Russia area race within the late 1950s and ’60s, he launched the “Cosmocorps” assortment — over-the-top unisex fashions from out of this world. His Space Age look included helmets, google, tunics and thigh-high boots.

“My favorite garment is the one I invent for a life that does not yet exist, the world of tomorrow,” he mentioned.

Or as he put it within the 2009 interview with AFP: “Fashion and design are not the same. Fashion is what you can wear. Design can be unpleasant and unpopular but it’s creative. So design is where the real value lies.”

By the 1970s, he turned a pioneer in branding, placing his identify on virtually every thing, together with automobiles — 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 Times, which famous in a 2002 piece that some 800 merchandise bearing his identify have been being bought in additional than 140 nations, bringing in $1 billion a 12 months.

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

“I’ve done it all! I even have my own water! I’ll do perfumes, sardines. Why not? During the war, I would have rather smelled the scent of sardines than of perfume. If someone asked me to do toilet paper, I’d do it. Why not?” he mentioned within the 2002 interview with the Times.

He liked to make use of geometric and bizarre designs. He developed a material, Cardine, for embossing summary shapes on clothes. One of 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 80th birthday and 50 years of fashion designing in May 2003.

Alain Benainous | Getty Images

He additionally owned and restored Marquis de Sade’s citadel in Provence, the place he hosted live shows and opera performances. “Cardin has perfect pitch of the eye,” Architectural Digest mentioned in a 2007 story in regards to the restoration of the chateau, initially constructed within the 15th century. 

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

Cardin’s fascination with area took him to NASA, the place he tried on an Apollo 11 area go well with 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 fashion a half century into the longer term:

“In 2069, we will all walk on the moon or Mars wearing my ‘Cosmocorps’ ensembles. Women will wear Plexiglas cloche hats and tube clothing. Men will wear elliptical pants and kinetic tunics.”

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