French fashion designer Pierre Cardin poses in front of his 1954-1956-1957 fashion creations in his museum called “Past-Present-Future” in Paris November 12, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Legendary French fashion designer Pierre Cardin has died at the age of 98, France’s Fine Arts Academy announced on Tuesday in a statement on Twitter.
“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 Fine Arts Academy said.
His creations adorned many stars of the day, among them Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand, Jeanne Moreau, Jackie Kennedy, Charlotte Rampling, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Cardin was among the first designers to capitalize on the business side of fashion, becoming a household name thanks to powerful branding.
He also broke with tradition through his futuristic designs — and by producing landmark unisex and ready-to-wear collections at a time when both were effectively unheard of.
Cardin was born in 1922 in San Biagio di Callalta, a small town in northeast Italy about 20 miles from Venice. He was born Pietro, but he became known as Pierre after his family relocated to France to escape fascism two years later.
As a young man, his first steps into fashion coincided with a move to Paris, where he worked on the costumes of Jean Cocteau’s film version of “Beauty and the Beast.” In 1946, he was hired as a tailor by his subsequent mentor, Christian Dior, who had just opened his couture house in Paris.
Four years later, at the age of 28, Cardin founded his own eponymous fashion brand, first designing theater costumes, then moving into haute couture in 1953.
eponymous [ɪˈpɑːnɪməs]: adj. 以……的名字命名的
French designer Pierre Cardin poses with models at the end of his 2009 spring/summer and autumn/winter ready-to-wear fashion collection show in Theoule-sur-Mer, southern France, October 6, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
His breakout creation was the bubble dress — so called for the bubble-like shape of the area between the waist and the hemline — which he designed in 1954. It proved commercially successful worldwide, setting the stage for a string of fashion innovations.
Hoping to make designer clothing more accessible, he launched his first ready-to-wear collection at the Printemps department store in Paris in 1959, a move so scandalous that it got him expelled from the Chambre Syndicale, the body governing French haute couture (he would be reinstated shortly after, before leaving of his own accord in 1966).