Renowned French designer Pierre Cardin dies at 98

“We undress men and women, we don’t dress them any more.”

-Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin, known for his avant-garde style and Space Age designs passed away, aged 98 on 29th December 2020.

His death was announced by The French Academy Of Fine Arts in Paris via a tweet on Tuesday. The cause of death wasn’t given.

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“We are all proud of his tenacious ambition and the daring he has shown throughout his life,” his family said in a statement.

The French Academy announcing Cardin’s death

Pierre Cardin was the first luxury fashion designer to embark on global expansion by opening stores all over the world, including Japan, China and Russia.

Born outside of Venice, Italy in 1922, Cardin moved to France as a child and became a tailor’s apprentice at age 14.

Cardin found his own fashion house in 1950. His career was launched when he designed about 30 of the costumes for “the party of the century”.

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His haute couture output was inaugurated in 1953. By 1954, the iconic “bubble dress” was introduced, which is a short-skirted, bubble-shaped dress made by bias-cutting over a stiffened base.

Cardin was also the first couturier to launch a ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps. He was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale for doing so but was soon reinstated. He was also the first to use plastics in his clothes and the first to license his name out for every product under the sun, from cars to pens, furniture, and silverware.

In 2002, the veteran designer told The Post: “Fifty years ago, I thought of things that I wanted to have, and now I have done them. It’s easy to think of something, but it’s sometimes very difficult to really do it.”

He first specialized in “sharp shapes” and graphic patterns starting in the 1950s. There is a distinct Cardin look. It’s based on geometry as he preferred geometric shapes; it’s sculptural and sometimes kinetic.

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Cardin embraced the Space Age and led a “revolution” in menswear, the highpoint of which was designing suits for the Beatles and designing a spacesuit for NASA.

He advanced into unisex fashions, sometimes experimental, and not always practical. But today the whole idea of unisex dressing and showing men’s and women’s clothing together is one of the biggest trends.

Cardin quit showing at Paris Fashion Week in 1996 after he grew bored by the rigid schedule.

“I don’t want to be told when to show my fashion — to be told I have to have a show between the 20th and 30th of certain months,” he told The Post in 2002. “I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t need it.”

“I had a sense for marketing my name,” Cardin had told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in 2007. “Does money spoil one’s ideas? I don’t dream of money after all, but while I’m dreaming, I’m making money. It’s never been about the money.”

His brand’s look remained largely unchanged throughout the years, causing the sales to dwindle.

But the man behind the label’s impact on fashion was indelible.

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