Pierre Cardin, the French designer whose famous name embossed myriad consumer products after his iconic Space Age styles shot him into the fashion stratosphere in the 1960s, has died, the French Academy of Fine Arts said Tuesday. He was 98.
A licensing maverick, Cardin’s name embossed thousands of products from wristwatches to bed sheets, and in the brand’s heyday in the 1970s and ’80s, goods bearing his fancy cursive signature were sold at some 100,000 outlets worldwide. While that number dwindled dramatically in later years, as his products were increasingly regarded as cheaply made and his clothing – which, decades later, remained virtually unchanged from its 60s-era styles – felt almost laughably dated.
A savvy businessman, Cardin used the fabulous wealth that was the fruit of his empire to snap up top-notch properties in Paris, including the Belle Epoque restaurant Maxim’s, which he also frequented. Along with fellow Frenchman Andre Courreges and Spain’s Paco Rabanne, two other Paris-based designers known for their Space Age styles, Cardin revolutionized fashion starting in the early 1950s.
In an interview with frontrowedit.co.uk in 2017, Cardin described himself as “avant-gardiste” and firmly said, the recognition of his style will remain – and to that it did.