Iconic fashion designer Pierre Cardin dies at 98

France mourns fashion designer Pierre Cardin.

The family of visionary French fashion designer  Pierre Cardin confirmed his passing away aged 98 at a hospital in Neuilly in West Paris. In a statement, the family described his demise as a great sadness for all. 

In a tweet, the French Fine Arts Academy expressed sadness on the passing of the icon. 

Who was Pierre Cardin?

Pierre rose from humble beginnings in 1922 close to Venice in Northern Italy. His family then emigrated to France. He was raised in  Saint Etienne - an industrial French town. When he was 17, he became a tailor apprentice in Vichy and specialized in women’s suits. 

Later on, he moved to Paris and worked under established designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Jeanne Paquin. In that same year, he met French artists Jean Cocteau and Christian Bérard,

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Where he participated in creating the movie "Beauty and the Beast". Cardin’s role was the designing of the sets and costumes. After working for top couture houses like Christian Dior, he launched his own brand and pioneered the use of licensing of perfumes in fashion while plastering his name over products of all kinds, racking in a fortune while at it.

Businessman and designer

One of his main highlights was the mainstreaming of bubble dresses and geometric designs. He also brought high fashion to the masses by selling different collections to department stores during the late 1950s. Over the years his name got stamped on a variety of commodities, among them cheap boxers, razor blades, and other household goods. 

He is credited with the popular embrace of the turtleneck sweater for men and bodysuits for women. 

His savvy business acumen drew in admiration from many and equal scorn from fashion purists. What’s remarkable is his claim that he built his business empire without taking any loans. 

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Wanted in Europe, part of the Wanted Worldwide network, is a website in English for expatriates in Europe established in 2006. We cover Europe's news stories that may be of interest to English speaking residents along with tourists as well. Our publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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