Pierre Cardin, French Fashion Legend, Dies at 98

Pierre Cardin, the legendary French fashion designer and business pioneer, died on Tuesday. He was 98.

He died in a hospital in Neuilly, near Paris. The cause has not been disclosed.

Known for his avant garde, geometric designs, Cardin rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s for his “Space Age” collection and iconic Bubble Dress. He also became a master in licensing, not only for his clothing and cosmetics but later for products ranging from mattresses to cigarettes. Cardin reportedly had 800 licenses in 140 countries, including men’s shoes in the ’70s and ’80s from Smerling Imports.

Italian-born Cardin moved to France at the age of 2. In 1945, he went to Paris and worked for designers including Paquin, Schiaparelli and Christian Dior. In 1950, he launched his namesake label.

Cardin looked to make fashion democratic and launched women’s ready-to-wear in 1963. Famous fans of his looks included Jackie Kennedy, Jeanne Moreau, Lauren Bacall, the Beatles and Lady Gaga.

His work we celebrated across the world throughout the decades. In the 2000s, Cardin’s designs were continually put on display through retrospectives in the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Greece, Italy, France and more. In 2018, Cardin’s 40 years of work in China was celebrated with a fashion show on the Great Wall of China.

Most recently, he appeared in September at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris for an event honoring 70 years of his work. Cardin was joined by Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Louboutin, Inès de la Fressange, among others. There, the “House of Cardin,” documentary, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival last September, was screened for guests. Cardin was cheered with a standing ovation.

“It is a day of great sadness for all our family. Pierre Cardin is no more,” Cardin’s family said in a statement. “We are all proud of his tenacious ambition and the daring he has shown throughout his life.”

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