Pierre Cardin, the French designer whose Space Age style was among the iconic looks of 20th-century fashion, has died at 98.
A licensing maverick, Cardin’s name embossed myriad products from wristwatches to bedsheets, making his label among the world’s most famous. In the brand’s heyday in the 1970s and ’80s, his products were sold at some 100,000 outlets worldwide, though that number dwindled dramatically in later decades.
He died in hospital in Neuilly, near Paris, his family told the AFP news agency.
“It is a day of great sadness for all our family. Pierre Cardin is no more,” they said in a statement. “We are all proud of his tenacious ambition and the daring he has shown throughout his life.”
After the news was announced, his official Instagram account posted one of his quotes: “I have always worked in my own style, which is different from all others. It was always my intention to be different, because that is the only way to last.”
The fashion world paid tribute, with fellow French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier thanking him for “opening the doors to fashion and for making my dream possible”.
Elle magazine editor-in-chief and Project Runway judge Nina Garcia said Cardin’s designs showed “how fashion has the power to design the future.”
She wrote: “His curiosity, his vision and his love for the art of fashion helped shape the dreams of many women during the second half of the 20th Century.
“Even today his designs are truly modern, with silhouettes and fabrics that have inspired many contemporary designers.”
Photographer and former model Nigel Barker tweeted: “We have lost a legend… Fashion Designer Pierre Cardin who revolutionized the industry with his futuristic designs and think outside of the box business approach has passed away today.”
A savvy businessman, Cardin used his fabulous wealth to snap up top-notch properties in Paris, including the Belle Epoque restaurant Maxim’s. He was inducted into the Fine Arts Academy in 1992.