Paris: France’s Academy of Fine Arts has said that Pierre Cardin, the French designer whose ‘Space Age’ style was among the iconic looks of 20th-century fashion, has died at 98. A licensing maverick, the Pierre Cardin name embossed myriad products from wristwatches to bedsheets, making his label among the worlds’ most famous. The Academy in a tweet announced his death.
In the brands heyday in the 1970s and 80s, Cardin’s products were sold at some 100,000 outlets worldwide, though that number dwindled dramatically in later decades.
A savvy businessman, Cardin used his fabulous wealth to snap up top-notch properties here, including the Belle Epoque restaurant ‘Maxims’. He was inducted into the Fine Arts Academy in ‘1992’.
Cardin, who was born to a low-income family in northern Italy, but became a France-based style icon, breathed his last at a hospital in Neuilly, west of the French capital.
“It is a great day of sadness for all our family. Pierre Cardin is no more,” the Academy statement said. It added that after a lifetime spanning a century, Cardin had left France and the world ‘a great unique artistic heritage’ and not only in fashion.
“Italian by birth, Cardin never forgot his origins while bringing unconditional love to France,” his family said in a statement. After a stint with ‘Christian Dior’, he realised that it did not suit his freedom. So he decided to set up his own label in 1950 and the world got one of its most revered fashion icons.
In 1947, he set up base here in this city. Cardin designed the mesmerizing sets and costumes of the film Beauty and the Beast in association with poet, artist and director Jean Cocteau in 1947.
Cardin’s ‘Space Age’ collection in 1964 remains a landmark in the history of fashion with its cutout dresses, knitted catsuits and tight leather pants. He was also the first designer to hold a show at the Red Square in Moscow in 2000. The show attracted more than 2,00,000 visitors.