The life story of Pierre Cardin

“My job is my passion, my drug, I adore it and I will never stop working”, said the legendary French designer, who is tireless in everything he does, and whose gaze has always been focused on the distant future”.

French and world-famous designer, Pierre Cardin has been on the fashion scene for 68 years. “Fashion Group International” awarded him in 2011 for his outstanding contribution to the development of fashion trends, and he also joined his previously awarded colleagues, Valentino, Donatella Versace and Oscar de la Renta. Although the fashion house Pierre Cardin has existed for so long, the owner decided to sell it, because he has no heirs, but after that he does not want to retire.

“My job is my passion, my drug, I adore it and I will never stop working. I have been succeeding in it for decades, because I managed to make “Cardin” a brand. Style comes and goes in two or three months, and the brand stays”, said Carden, whose company is worth several billion euros, employs 450 people in Paris and 200,000 worldwide, in 800 factories and over 800 branches, located in 170 countries whose products are bought by 150 million people worldwide. Cardin earns about $12 billion a year and holds more than 500 patents in design, architecture, and advertising.

This is the life story of Pierre Cardin!

It is impossible to define it in just one word. Pierre Cardin is a stylist, designer, entrepreneur, artist, promoter of new talents, diplomat and owner of the restaurant chain “Maxim’s”, whose view has always been focused on the distant future.

The multi-award winning and multi-talented Carden has always been tireless in everything he does, and everything he touches gets a unique and recognizable character.

“The clothes I prefer are the ones I create for a life that doesn’t exist yet, for the world of the future. I find inspiration in space, in satellites, computers. My world is completely mechanical, and the approach to it and fashion is absolutely scientific”.

Carden’s style could be called cosmic, because of the colors and motifs – it’s an amazing and unique “space age chic”, and his creativity is actually timeless, because no piece reveals the year he comes from. This ensured him an unusually long and extremely successful career, given the transience of fashion, and that most of his collections were labeled as impractical and experimental.

“Eve” and “Adam”

Petro Carden was born on July 7, 1922, in the Italian town of San Biaggio di Calalta, near Treviso. Two years later, the parents, farmers who had worked hard all their lives, moved to France because of the poverty caused by the First World War. As a fourteen-year-old, he started working for a tailor in Saint-Etienne, then moved to Manbij in Vichy, and in 1945 he went to Paris. He is employed by several Parisian tailors, and is studying architecture. He met the writer, director and designer Jean Cocteau, and the painter and set designer Christian Berard, with whose help he created masks and costumes for several films, including Beauty and the Beast (1946). After being rejected by Balenciaga, Carden became the first employee of the newly formed fashion house “Christian Dior” in 1946.

Today, the legendary French “couturier” liked to say that Dior was not a “pure creative”, as most believe, but, above all, an extraordinarily capable entrepreneur and a fantastic mediator between the world in which he lived and himself.

In 1950, Carden founded his own fashion house, began to reveal the secrets of high fashion and three years later presented his first collection. In 1954, he created a hitherto unseen balloon dress, a bubble dress, which soon became a world fashion hit. In the late fifties, he opened the first two stores, “Eve” for women and “Adam” for men, and went to Japan for the first time and became the first high fashion designer to include this distant country in the high fashion market.

A vision of the future

Peter Cardin’s career, according to many the bravest figures in the history of fashion, took place in two phases. The first is the one in which Carden is busy searching for and ways to introduce virtuoso and unusual elements into women’s fashion, and the second is the phase, which begins in 1966 and can be called the leader of the “Space Age” style, whose characteristics and a kind of turn begin. Mirrored in furniture design.

His creativity was incredibly innovative, he devised a kind of, almost “unisex” style, adapting it to the world in a special futuristic way.

The leitmotifs of most of his creations were usually geometric figures, and experimental materials (such as vinyl), he identified new themes, such as, for example, dress-sculpture. Carden masterfully creates a special lifestyle, in all fields inspired by the vision of the future, and tries to influence its application in furniture design, in the creation of which he participated together with Steiner. But after a series of successes, from 1966 to the early 1980s, Cardin’s creations began to be produced under licenses around the world, and their value became increasingly questionable. However, he is the one who laid the foundations of a new phase in the world of fashion, to which the creators of newer generations owe constant gratitude for the easy, natural, free and mature approach.

Furniture

Cardin didn’t care what he worked on, whether he drew the “sleeves of an evening gown or the legs of a desk”, and he created a whole world inhabited by chairs, cabinets, sofas, lamps, shelves, beds, tables, and led by a plane with his signature. Magical ideas, capable of giving each object an innovative look and classifying it into a special, unique category, which he called “Sculptures Utilities”. That is the name of the collection of designer furniture created in the Pierre Cardin Studio from the seventies until today.

These are real sculptures, a perfect combination of decorative function and practicality, which can find a place and be usable in everyone’s home.

In 1977, Carden began producing that furniture to stimulate the creativity of the French and encourage them to use unusual materials and shapes. The result is a complete collection of elegant furniture, which has grown over time and gained artistic value. Carden, in fact, had fun looking at pieces of furniture as pieces of clothing or sculpture:

“It is stupid to lean furniture against a wall. My pieces are such that they should be seen from all sides. ” The creativity of the “Cardin” Studio started from this concept and to this day it is unsurpassed and unique, it is impossible to copy it. Over time, the style of the Sculptures Utilities collection has changed, of course, but the ability to delight and surprise has remained the same. Thanks to elegance and exclusivity, some pieces from this collection have literally traveled the world, been exhibited in many cities, and most of them ended up at the Pierre Cardin Museum in Paris.

There is no time for aging

Many have accused him of over-commercializing fashion, but perhaps Carden simply sensed globalization long before anyone else and focused his business on a multitude of groups scattered throughout the fashion universe. His conscience is clear, he does not regret anything he has done in his long and fruitful life, he is still active, vital, precise in his work, and everyone who knows him claims that he has a wonderful memory, that he is fun, witty and that he adores to convince anecdotes. He himself likes to say that there is no time for aging, because he has a lot of work to do. In the summer, for example, in Lakoste, Provence, in the southeast of France, he organizes a theater and music festival, in his castle, which was once owned by the Marquis de Sade.

He bought and renovated first the abandoned castle in 2001, then several surrounding estates and houses. Opinions of residents about his attempt to turn the picturesque village into a fashionable place are divided. Some are delighted, because Lakost did not have sewerage or public lighting until Cardin’s arrival, and there are those who say that they will never be able to enjoy peace and quiet again due to performances, concerts and crowds on the streets, which sometimes resemble Paris.

Some are also worried about what will happen after Cardin’s death, what his heirs will do to the village and its 400 inhabitants.

“I want to turn Lakost into a small, cultural Saint Tropez,” said Pierre Cardin, who has so far invested over 20 million euros in the village, renovated the facades of houses, built several galleries, cafes, shops, a large parking lot and several restaurants. At Sade’s castle, Carden owns a residence in Venice owned by Giacomo Casanova, and his name is behind the popular Maxim’s restaurants, which, in addition to Paris, are also found in Monaco, Geneva, Beijing, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Everything he has, Carden achieved alone, and this shrewd businessman is one of the few who can boast that he never took a loan from a bank, he always invested his earnings in the following businesses and real estate, constantly creating capital.

In 1991, UNESCO appointed him Goodwill Ambassador. Carden has launched numerous humanitarian projects, such as campaigns for the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and constantly supports the World AIDS Research and Prevention Organization.

 

 

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