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French fashion designer Pierre Cardin dies aged 98: Family

French fashion designer Pierre Cardin dies aged 98: Family

French fashion designer Pierre Cardin poses during a presentation of a collection made in partnership with Pierre Courtial, a young designer he trained himself, at his Studio Pierre Cardin in Paris on Feb 27, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Charles Platiau)

French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, hailed for his visionary creations but also for bringing stylish clothes to the masses, died on Tuesday (Dec 29) aged 98, his family told AFP.

Cardin, who was born to a low-income family in northern Italy but became a France-based fashion superstar, died in a hospital in Neuilly in the west of Paris, his family said.

"It is a day of great sadness for all our family. Pierre Cardin is no more," the statement said.

It said that after a lifetime spanning a century, he had left France and the world a "great unique artistic heritage" and not only in fashion.

Born into poverty in 1922 near Venice in northern Italy, his family emigrated to France when he was a small child.

"Italian by birth, Pierre Cardin never forgot his origins while bringing unconditional love to France," said his family.

In this May 3, 2005, file photo, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin presents his exhibition Design and Fashion 1950-2005 at the academy for arts in Vienna, Austria. France's Academy of Fine Arts has said that the famed fashion designer has died at 98. (File photo: AP/Ronald Zak) FILE - In this May 3, 2005 file photo, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin presents his exhibition "Design and Fashion 1950- 2005" at the academy for arts in Vienna, Austria. France's Academy of Fine Arts says famed fashion designer Pierre Cardi

FROM APPRENTICE TO GLOBAL EMPIRE

He grew up in the French industrial town of Saint-Etienne and was apprenticed to a tailor in Vichy at the age of 17, already specialising in women's suits.

Moving to Paris, he designed the mesmerising sets and costumes for the film Beauty and the Beast with poet, artist and director Jean Cocteau in 1946.

After a stint with Christian Dior, he had already set up his own fashion label in 1950.

In this Sep 13, 1960, file photo, Parisian designer Pierre Cardin, with one of his models, shows the new uniform he has created for the hostesses of French television in Paris. France's Academy of Fine Arts has said that the famed fashion designer has died at 98. (File photo: AP/Pierre Godot) FILE - In this Sept.13, 1960 file photo, Parisian designer Pierre Cardin, with one of his models, shows the new uniform he has created for the hostesses of French television in Paris. France's Academy of Fine Arts says famed fashion designer Pierre Ca

He quickly established a name as an innovator, creating the now legendary bubble dress in 1954.

He also broke new ground commercially, ruffling feathers in the fashion establishment for producing a ready-to-wear collection for the Paris department store Printemps.

His 1964 Space Age collection remains a landmark in fashion history with its cut-out dresses, knitted catsuits, tight leather pants, close-fitting helmets and batwing jumpers.

In this March 19, 1979, file photo, Pierre Cardin holds a press conference on his return to the People's Republic of China. France's Academy of Fine Arts has said that the famed fashion designer has died at 98. (File photo: AP/Marty Lederhandler) FILE - In this March 19, 1979 file photo, Pierre Cardin, famed French designer, holds a press conference on his return to the Peoples Republic of China. France's Academy of Fine Arts says famed fashion designer Pierre Cardin has died at 98. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)

His global empire had a strong presence in Japan and also signed production deals with the Cold War-era Soviet Union in 1978. He also became the first French designer to cement links with China in 1979.

He was also the first designer to hold a fashion show in Red Square in Moscow in 1991, drawing a crowd of 200,000.

In this Nov 30, 2016, file photo, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin acknowledges applause after a show in Paris to mark 70 years of his creations. France's Academy of Fine Arts has said that the famed fashion designer has died at 98. (File photo: AP/Christophe Ena) FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2016, file photo, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin acknowledges applause after a show to mark 70 years of his creations, in Paris. France's Academy of Fine Arts says famed fashion designer Pierre Cardin has died at 98. (AP Photo/Christophe E

His family praised how he had plunged "early on into the flow of globalisation".

But the much used and franchised Cardin brand later showed signs of wear and, in 2011, he put his fashion label up for sale although it failed to sell.

"We are all proud of his tenacious ambition and the daring he has shown throughout his life," his family said.

Source: AFP/kg
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