Pierre Cardin was born on July 7, 1922, near Venice, Italy, to the parents of French origin. His father was a wine maker and was preparing his son to take over the family trade. Young Cardin was fond of ballet and theatre, he was dreaming of an acting career, and was also fascinated with the beauty of costumes and stage designs. In 1936, at the age of 14, he started as a tailor’s assistant. In 1945 Cardin moved to Paris, France. There he studied architecture and worked with Paquin, then with Schiaparelli.

In 1945 Cardin met Jean Cocteau and Christian Berard with whom he made numerous costumes and masks for several films, such as ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (1946). In 1947 he began to work for ‘Christian Dior’. In 1950 Cardin created his own fashion house on Rue Richepanse in Paris. He presented his first collection in 1953, and a year later his “bubble dresses” triumphed throughout the world. At that time Cardin opened his first boutiques in Paris: EVE, then ADAM. In 1957 he made his first trip to Japan and taught there, becoming the first couturier to turn to Japan as a high fashion market. Since 1962 the Pierre Cardin Prize has been awarded to the world’s best designer of the year. Also that year Cardin started distribution of Men’s Ready-to-Wear, following with the same for women in 1963. From 1989-1994 a retrospective covering 40 years of Cardin’s designs was presented in London, Montreal, Mexico, and Kyoto. In 1991 Cardin presented a fashion show in Moscow before a crowd of 200,000. In 1997 a retrospective exhibit of 50 years of Cardin opened in Paris, then moved to Tokyo and Florence. Some of his designs were influenced by the art of his friends, such as Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso among others.

Pierre Cardin has been a French fashion industry icon since his earliest collections of the 50’s and 60’s. He became known for his bold, “cosmic”, futuristic designs. He was among the first to create a designer line that promoted environmental issues, called “Environmental art.” An astute international businessman, Cardin has never borrowed from a bank. He auto-financed everything and reinvested his profits in property. Pierre Cardin’s name is on hundreds of products, including men’s wear, perfumes, watches, floor tiles, furniture, and others. His business empire extends to more than one hundred countries and indirectly provides employment to almost 200,000 people in hundreds of factories. Cardin’s products are consumed by 150 million people across the world and make his business empire about 12 billion dollars in annual sales. Cardin holds over 500 patents in design, architecture, advertisement, and entertainment. He collaborated with director Mark Zakharov and ballerina Maya Plisetskaya in stage and film productions in Moscow, Russia. In 1998 Cardin created the “Chekhov’s women” collection in commemoration of the Centennial anniversary of the Moscow Art Theatre.

Cardin’s legendary personal modesty has been complementing his graceful generosity. He was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. He continuously supported World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention programs of UNESCO. Mr. Cardin has initiated numerous humanitarian projects such as campaign for the benefit of victims of Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He designed the CHERNOBYL medal and jewelery for the benefit of UNESCO. He is a global traveler with a mission to spread the message of brotherhood and unity across the world. In 1995, the Year of Tolerance, Cardin created six flags that were raised over the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Pierre Cardin is internationally regarded as a visionary and leader in art, business, and public diplomacy. He received three “De d’Or” by Cartier for French Haut Couture, in 1977, 1979, and 1982. Mr. Cardin is the elected member of Institut de France and Officer of the Legion of Honor. He is the owner of Maxim’s and Espace Cardin Gallery on Champs-Elysees in Paris. He is living in Paris, France.

From: Alessandro Sicuro Comunication for Sure-com America

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