Pierre Cardin: Legendary Fashion Designer Dies at 98

 

Pierre Cardin-Getty-H 2019
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Pierre Cardin

 

Cardin dressed The Beatles and Lauren Bacall and redefined fashion’s business model as he built international empire of licensed products.

Pierre Cardin, the Italian-born French designer of an eternal tomorrow who defined the futuristic look of the 1960s and revolutionized the business of high fashion, died today. He was 98.

Cardin died Tuesday at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, just outside Paris, his family told the Agence France-Presse.

During his seven-decade career, Cardin was known for his avant-garde creativity in both fashion and business, and his futuristic materials and stark silhouettes with geometric details became synonymous with the Space Age. A Cardin garment is unmistakable with its trademark minimalism and almost complete disregard for the female form; it is the antithesis of the womanly “New Look” pioneered by Christian Dior, with whom Cardin worked before founding his couture fashion house in 1950.

In describing his philosophy, Cardin often said, “My favorite garment is the one I invent for a life that does not yet exist, the world of tomorrow.” His designs, worn by the likes of The Beatles and Lauren Bacall, established a mod-chic aesthetic long before 2001: A Space Odyssey hit theaters in 1968. He was fascinated with the idea of space travel, often incorporating goggles and helmets into his looks, and he was the first civilian to try on Buzz Aldrin’s original space suit before designing his own version for NASA in 1970.