French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, who made his fame by trading designer clothes to the masses, and his fortune by being the first to exploit that name as a brand for selling everything from cars to perfume, died on Tuesday aged 98.
In a career spanning more than 60 years, Cardin drew scorn and admiration from fellow fashion designers for his bold business sense. He maintained that he built his business empire without ever asking a bank for a loan.
Cardin was the first designer to sell clothes collections in department stores in the late 1950s. The first to enter the licensing business for perfumes, accessories, and even food is now a significant profit driver for many fashion houses.
For his latest venture in February this year he teamed up with a designer seven decades younger than him. Pierre Courtial, 27, revealed 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.