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Pierre Cardin (Pietro Cardin)
Born July 7, 1922 (1922-07-07) (age 87)
San Biagio di Callalta, Italy
Nationality French
Labels Pierre Cardin
Pierre Cardin dress, 1967
Pierre Cardin logo

Pierre Cardin is an Italian-born French fashion designer, who was born on July 7, 1922, at San Biagio di Callalta near Treviso.

Cardin was known for his avant-garde style and his space age designs. He prefers geometric shapes and motifs, often ignoring the female form. He advanced into unisex fashions, sometimes experimental, and not always practical. He introduced the "bubble dress" in 1954.

Pierre Cardin was also designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1991.[1]

On 16 October 2009, Pierre Cardin was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).



Cardin moved to Paris in 1945. There, he studied architecture and worked with Jeanne Paquin after the war. He worked with Elsa Schiaparelli until he became head of Christian Dior's tailleure atelier in 1947, but was denied work at Balenciaga. He founded his own house in 1950. His career was launched when he designed about 30 of the costumes for "the party of the century", a masquerade ball at Palazzo Labia in Venice on 3 September 1951, hosted by the palazzo's owner, Carlos de Beistegui. He began with haute couture in 1953.

Cardin was the first couturier to turn to Japan as a high fashion market when he travelled there in 1959.

In 1959, he was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale for launching a ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps department store as the first couturier in Paris, but was soon reinstated. However, he resigned from the Chambre Syndicale in 1966 and now shows his collections in his own venue, the "Espace Cardin" (opened 1971) in Paris, formerly the "Théâtre des Ambassadeurs", near the Embassy of the United States in Paris. The Espace Cardin is also used to promote new artistic talents, like theater ensembles, musicians and others. He was also contacted by Pakistan International Airlines to design uniforms for the flag carrier. The uniforms were introduced in 1966 to 1971 and became an instant hit. [2]

Cardin interior in a 1972 Javelin

Cardin expanded into other markets that included a contract with American Motors (AMC) following the success of the Aldo Gucci designed Hornet Sportabout station wagon interiors. The automaker incorporated Cardin's daring and outlandish design "with some of the wildest fabrics and patterns ever seen in any American car" on the 1972 and 1973 AMC Javelins.[3] The original sales estimate was for 2,500 haute couture muscle cars.[4] A total of 4,152 AMC Javelins received a bold mirrored multi-colored pleated stripe pattern in tones of Chinese red, plum, white, and silver set against a black background. This was one of the first few American cars to offer a special trim package created by a famous fashion designer. The Cardin Javelins also came with the designer's emblems on the front fenders and had a limited selection of exterior colors (Trans Am Red, Snow White, Stardust Silver, Diamond Blue, and Wild Plum) to coordinate with the special interiors.[5]

His fellow designer, André Oliver, who joined him in 1971 and assumed responsibility for the haute couture collections in 1987, died in 1993.

Cardin was a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Prêt-à-Porter and of the Maison du Haute Couture from 1953 to 1993. Like many other designers today, Cardin decided in 1994 to show his collection only to a small circle of selected clients and journalists. After a break of 15 years, he showed a new collection to a group of 150 journalists at his bubble home in Cannes.

Other interests

He purchased Maxim's restaurants in 1981 and soon opened branches in New York, London, and Beijing (1983). A chain of Maxim's Hotels are now included in the assets. Cardin has also licenced a wide range of food products under that name.

Cardin owns the ruins of the castle in Lacoste, Vaucluse that was once inhabited by the Marquis de Sade. He has partially renovated the site and regularly organizes theatre festivals there. Cardin also owns a large palazzo in Venice that was the residence of Giacomo Casanova.

In 2003, Cardin invited the award-winning Chechen children's dance ensemble, Lovzar, to dance in his musical show "Tristan and Isolde" that was performed in Moscow.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Pierre Cardin comes to PIA - Dawn Newspapers, 2003
  3. ^ Mitchell, Larry G. (2000). AMC Muscle Cars. MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company. pp. 55-56. ISBN 978-0760307618.  
  4. ^ Mays, James C. (2006). The Savvy Guide to Buying Collector Cars at Auction. Indy-Tech Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 9780790613222.  
  5. ^ Foster, Patrick. "Pierre Cardin Meets the Javelin" Hemming's Classic Car Magazine, #31, April 2007.

External links

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