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French fashion giant dies aged 98

Written by on December 30, 2020

Legendary designer Pierre Cardin, whose futuristic and stylish designs helped revolutionise fashion in the 1950s and 60s, has died at the age of 98.

The French fashion giant, whose career spanned more than 70 years, helped usher in the post-war “golden age” of couture with his modern style.

He broke ground by bringing designer styles to the masses with some of the first ready-to-wear collections.

A business pioneer, he also licensed his name for a wide range of products.

He died in hospital in Neuilly, near Paris, his family told the AFP news agency.

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

After the news was announced, his official Instagram account posted one of his quotes: “I have always worked in my own style, which is different from all others. It was always my intention to be different, because that is the only way to last.”

The fashion world paid tribute, with fellow French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier thanking him for “opening the doors to fashion and for making my dream possible”.

Elle magazine editor-in-chief and Project Runway judge Nina Garcia said Cardin’s designs showed “how fashion has the power to design the future”.

She wrote: “His curiosity, his vision and his love for the art of fashion helped shape the dreams of many women during the second half of the 20th Century.

“Even today his designs are truly modern, with silhouettes and fabrics that have inspired many contemporary designers.”

Benetton artistic director Jean-Charles de Castelbajac said Cardin was an “a very extraordinary man” who did not set borders between fashion, design or architecture.

He told AFP that “his inspiration boosted my imagination”, and that for Cardin, the marketing and promotion of his art “was as important as the art itself”.

Photographer and former model Nigel Barker tweeted: “We have lost a legend… Fashion Designer Pierre Cardin who revolutionized the industry with his futuristic designs and think outside of the box business approach has passed away today.”


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