Hard as it may be to imagine decades later, Armani chocolates, Bulgari hotels and Gucci sunglasses are all based on Cardin’s realisation that a fashion brand’s glamour had endless merchandising potential.

Over the years his name has been stamped on razor blades, household goods, and tacky accessories – even cheap boxer shorts.

In this 1984 file photo, Cardin and models wearing ensembles from the summer 1985 ready-to-wear Cardin collection pose in Paris.

In this 1984 file photo, Cardin and models wearing ensembles from the summer 1985 ready-to-wear Cardin collection pose in Paris. Credit:

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.

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.

He once said it would not bother him to have his initials, PC, etched into rolls of toilet paper, and he was also the inspiration for a phallus-like perfume flask.

For his latest venture in February this year he teamed up with a designer seven decades his junior.

For his latest venture in February this year he teamed up with a designer seven decades his junior.Credit:

His detractors accused him of destroying the value of his brand and the notion of luxury in general. But he seemed largely unaffected by criticism.

“I had a sense for marketing my name,” Cardin told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in 2007. “Does money spoil one’s ideas? I don’t dream of money after all, but while I’m dreaming, I’m making money. It’s never been about the money.”

Born near Venice on July 2, 1922, to French parents of Italian descent, Cardin was educated in the not-so-glamorous French city of Saint Etienne.

He went to work for a tailor in nearby Vichy at age 17 and dreamt for a time of becoming an actor, doing some work on the stage as well as modelling and dancing professionally.

When he came to Paris in 1945, he made theatrical masks and costumes for Jean Cocteau’s film, Beauty and the Beast, and a year later joined the then-unknown Christian Dior.

His first big commercial venture, when he teamed up with the Printemps department store in the late 1950s, led to him being briefly expelled from the rarified guild of French fashion designers, the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture.

Couturiers in that club were forbidden at that time to show outside their Paris salons, let alone in department stores.

He also blazed a trail outside France long before other fashion multinationals in search of new markets.

He presented a collection in Communist China in 1979 when it was still largely closed to the outside world. And just two years after the Berlin Wall came down, in 1991, a Cardin fashion show on Moscow’s Red Square attracted a crowd of 200,000.

Cardin also expanded into new businesses, buying fabled Paris restaurant Maxim’s in the 1980s and opening replica outlets around the world. He leveraged the investment further by launching Minim’s, a chain of fancy fast-food joints that reproduced the Belle Epoque decor of the original exclusive Paris eatery.

His empire embraces perfumes, foods, industrial design, real estate, entertainment and even fresh flowers.

True to his taste for futuristic designs, Cardin also owns the Palais des Bulles, or Bubble Palace, a residence-cum-events-venue woven into the cliffs on one of the most exclusive strips of the French riviera.

Not too far away, there is also a chateau in the village of Lacoste that once belonged to the Marquis de Sade.

For his latest venture in February this year he teamed up with a designer seven decades his junior.

Pierre Courtial, 27, unveiled a collection at Cardin’s studio on Paris’s chic Rue Saint-Honore, with pieces that echoed some of the veteran designer’s geometrical aesthetics.

Cardin said he still rated originality above anything else.

“I’ve always tried to be different, to be myself,” Cardin told Reuters. “Whether people like it or not, that’s not what matters.”

Reuters

Most Viewed in World

Loading



Source link

Categories: Daily Updates

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *