Known for his avant-garde style and futuristic designs, the world mourns the illustrious Pierre Cardin.
Cardin was born near Treviso in northern Italy, the son of Maria Montagner and Alessandro Cardin. His parents were wealthy landowners, but to escape fascism they left Italy and settled in France in 1924. His father, a wine merchant, wished him to study architecture, but from childhood he was interested in dressmaking.
Cardin moved to Paris in 1945. There, he studied architecture and worked with the fashion house of Paquin after World War II. He worked with Elsa Schiaparelli until he became head of Christian Dior’s tailleure atelier in 1947, but was denied work at Balenciaga.
Cardin founded his own fashion house in 1950. His career was launched when he designed about 30 of the costumes for “the party of the century”, a masquerade ball at Palazzo Labia in Venice on 3 September 1951, hosted by the palazzo’s owner, Carlos de Beistegui. He inaugurated his haute couture output in 1953.
He was the first couturier to turn to Japan as a high fashion market when he travelled there in 1959. That same year, he was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale for launching a ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps department store as the first couturier in Paris to do as such, but was soon reinstated.
Cardin died on 29 December 2020, at the American Hospital of Paris, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, at the age of 98