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.
Read tributes below:
Le Secrétaire perpétuel, Laurent Petitgirard, et les membres de l’Académie des beaux-arts ont la très grande tristesse d’annoncer la disparition de leur confrère Pierre Cardin. Il avait été élu le 12 février 1992 au fauteuil de Pierre Dux (section des membres libres). pic.twitter.com/sA1mABvZB5
— Académie beaux-arts (@AcadBeauxarts) December 29, 2020
Couturier, designer, ambassadeur de la France, académicien, mécène, tout au long de sa vie, Pierre Cardin aura mené bel ouvrage.
Merci monsieur Cardin de m’avoir ouvert les portes de la mode et d’avoir rendu mon rêve possible… #PierreCardin pic.twitter.com/GeworJSsuA
— Jean Paul Gaultier (@JPGaultier) December 29, 2020
Designer Pierre Cardin, best known for his geometric, space-age couture and his maverick approach to business that would reshape the French fashion industry, died earlier today in a hospital in Neuilly in the west of Paris. https://t.co/GN7I3yp8vK pic.twitter.com/GW3oXtpBtq
— Vogue Runway (@VogueRunway) December 29, 2020