|Birth Day:||July 2, 1922|
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He worked as an apprentice for a clothier and later as a tailor's apprentice at 14 years of age.
Cardin was born near Treviso. His parents were wealthy landowners, but to escape fascism they left Italy and settled in France in 1924. His father, a wealthy French wine merchant, wished him to study architecture, but from childhood he was interested in dressmaking.
Cardin was educated in central France. Beginning his career early, at age 14 he worked as a clothier's apprentice, learning the basics of fashion design and construction. In 1939, he left home to work for a tailor in Vichy, where he began making suits for women. During World War II, he worked in the Red Cross, launching humanitarian interests that continue to this day.
Cardin moved to Paris in 1945. There, he studied architecture and worked with the fashion house of Paquin after World War II. He worked with Elsa Schiaparelli until he became head of Christian Dior's tailleure atelier in 1947, but was denied work at Balenciaga.
Cardin 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. He was the first couturier to turn to Japan as a high fashion market when he traveled there in 1959. That same year, 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.
Cardin resigned from the Chambre Syndicale in 1966 and began showing 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. The Espace Cardin is also used to promote new artistic talents, like theater ensembles, musicians, and others. He also designed uniforms for Pakistan International Airlines, which were introduced from 1966 to 1971 and became an instant hit.
Inspired by space travel and exploration, Cardin visited NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in 1970, where he tried on the original spacesuit worn by the first human to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong. Cardin loved the spacesuit so much, he created his own design for NASA in 1970.
In 1971, Cardin redesigned the Barong Tagalog, a national costume of the Philippines, by opening the front, removing the cuffs that needed cufflinks, flaring the sleeves, and minimizing the embroidery. It was also tapered to the body, in contrast with the traditional loose-fitting design and it also had a thicker collar with sharp and pointed cuffs. A straight-cut design was favored by President Ferdinand Marcos.
The original sales estimate by AMC was for 2,500 haute couture "pony" and muscle cars. The special interior option was continued on the 1973 model year Javelins. During the two model years, a total of 4,152 AMC Javelins received this bold mirrored, multi-colored pleated stripe pattern in tones of Chinese red, plum, white, and silver that were set against a black background. 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. However, 12 Cardin optioned cars were special ordered in Midnight Black paint.
In 1975, Cardin opened his first furniture boutique on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore. His furniture designs were highly inspired by his fashion designs. In both 1977 and 1979, he was awarded the Cartier Golden Thimble by French haute couture for most creative collection of the season. He was a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Prêt-à-Porter from 1953 to 1993.
Cardin bought Maxim's restaurants in 1981 and soon opened branches in New York, London, and Beijing (1983). A chain of Maxim's Hotels (Palm Springs, California, 1986) are now included in the assets. He has also licensed a wide range of food products under that name.
Continuously fascinated by geometric shapes, Cardin purchased the Palais Bulles (the Bubble House) in 1991. The house was designed by the architect Antti Lovag, and Cardin furnished the Bubble House with his original creations. The curves of the Bubble House extend over 1,200 square meters and contain ten bedrooms decorated by contemporary artists, as well as a panoramic living room.
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.
In 1995, quotes from WWD included "Pierre Cardin—he has sold his name for toilet paper. At what point do you lose your identity?" and "Cardin's cachet crashed when his name appeared on everything from key chains to pencil holders". However, the Cardin name was still very profitable, although the indiscriminate licensing approach was considered a failure.
In 2001, Cardin purchased the ruins of the castle in Lacoste, Vaucluse that was once inhabited by the Marquis de Sade; he has partially renovated the site and holds music or dance festivals (particularly with Marie-Claude Pietragalla) there.
A 2005 article in the Harvard Business Review commented that the extension into perfumes and cosmetics was successful as the premium nature of the Pierre Cardin brand transferred well into these new, adjacent categories, but that the owners of the brand mistakenly attributed this to the brand's strength rather than to its fit with the new product categories. The extensive licensing eroded the brand's credibility, but brought in much revenue; in 1986 Women's Wear Daily (WWD) estimated Cardin's annual income at over US$10 million.
In 2011, Cardin tried to sell his business, valuing it at €1 billion, although the Wall Street Journal considered it to be worth about a fifth of that amount. Ultimately he did not sell the brand.
Currently, Pierre Cardin is 100 years, 7 months and 5 days old. Pierre Cardin will celebrate 101st birthday on a Sunday 2nd of July 2023.
Find out about Pierre Cardin birthday activities in timeline view here.