The French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, born Pietro Cardin was born on 2nd July 1922 at San Biagio di Callalta near Venice, Italy. This same year, his parents moved back to industrial town of St. Etienne in the Department of Loire in southeast France.
Pierre Cardin leaves home to work for a tailor in Vichy, making suits for women. During the war he worked for the Red Cross. After the Liberation of France, Cardin moves to Paris, the fashion capital of the world.
House of Dior
Impressed with Cardin’s work for his film, Jean Cocteau introduced him to designer Christian Dior. He soon begins work for Christian Dior’s tailleure atelier. At the time Dior was an internationally recognized designer.
Pierre Cardin leaves the house of Dior to found his own fashion house, launching 30 costumes for ‘the party of the century’ a masquerade ball at Palazzo Labia in Venice on 3 September 1951. Most of Cardin’s early designs were day suits and coats with raglan sleeves, dresses that foreshadowed the sack line with their front-defined waistlines and Watteau backs. Some suits and dresses had tulip-shaped skirts and boxy waists, brushing jackets with rolled or scarf-tied collars. He also designed coats with draped hemlines, bubble skirts and unstructured chemises.
Cardin opens a boutique for women called Eve. His bubble dresses took the world by storm.
A precursor of what international fashion is today, Cardin was the first to open a high fashion store in Japan for his men’s and women’s wear. Cardin makes his first trip to Japan where he is made an honorary professor at Bunka Fukusoi, the Japanese Design College. Student of the year is awarded the Pierre Cardin award at the college.
Looking into the Future
1960 was the beginning of the era of Space Age technology. Inspired by space travel in 1961, Cardin gave fashion a constructive and futuristic look. New materials such as plastics and synthetics were developed. Due to the sharp rise in price of leathers, designers started to experiment with these new materials. Further Cardin raised skirts 4 inches above the knee and plunged necklines back and front to below the navel. His designs revealed a strong designer. Cardin took the unisex jumpsuit and created a wardrobe for the future, unveiling his “Cosmocorps” line.
Cardin presents dresses and coats with kimono style sleeves and large round cut-outs. Opening of the ‘Espace Pierre Cardin complex in Paris. This center is dedicated to exhibiting the work of young artists and creative people. This space has become a mecca for creative events in Paris. L'Espace Pierre Cardin consists of a 673 seat theatre, 1200 square meters of function rooms and gardens overlooking the Champs-Elysees accommodating 100 to 1000 people. www.espace-pierre-cardin-paris.com.
Cardin celebrates his 80th birthday by holding a party at his French Riviera Mansion. 200 000 people work for him, with 900 licenses for more than 1000 produces in 140 countries. His trademark is instantly recognized. Not planning to retire, he continues to work, stating “I love my work”.