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A Visual History


Pietro Cardin

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.