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Pierre Cardin, Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur, Dies at 98

Cardin was best known for his futuristic designs, including the bubble dress

Pierre Cardin, the legendary fashion designer and entrepreneur, died on Tuesday. He was 98.

His death was confirmed by the French Academy of Fine Arts. “The Perpetual Secretary, Laurent Petitgirard, and the members of the Academy of Fine Arts are deeply saddened to announce the death of their colleague Pierre Cardin. He had been elected on 12 February 1992 to the chair of Pierre Dux,” the Academy tweeted.

Cardin died at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, his family said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Born in 1922 in the Italian town of San Biagio di Callalta, Cardin’s family relocated to France in 1924. He began studying fashion design and tailoring as a teen. In 1945, following World War II, Cardin moved to Paris and worked for fashion houses Paquin and Christian Dior. He founded his own in 1950 and then revolutionized the industry by introducing the first ready-to-wear line in 1959.

Pierre was best known for his futuristic designs and the creation of the bubble dress in 1954 — clothes that often treated the models as mere hangers for his Space Age designs rather than flattering the human form. He also pioneered unisex fashions.

“Fashion is always ridiculous, seen from before or after,” Cardin told a French TV interviewer in 1970. “But in the moment, it’s marvelous.”

Cardin proved to be as business-savvy as he was creative, pioneering ready-to-wear lines in the 1960s and licensing his Pierre Cardin brand worldwide on thousands of consumer products. He also brought high fashion to countries such as China, Japan and Russia.

Over his decades-long career, his fashions were worn by Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, The Rolling Stones and Lady Gaga.

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