Pierre Cardin, father of fashion branding, dies at 98
PARIS: French couturier Pierre Cardin, who made his name by selling designer clothes to the masses, and his fortune being the first to exploit the name as a brand for selling cars to perfumes, died on Tuesday at the age of 98 .
In a career of over 60 years, Cardin has drawn contempt and admiration from his colleagues of fashion designers for his damn sense. He claimed to have built his business empire without ever asking a bank for a loan.
Cardin was the first designer to sell clothing collections in department stores in the late 1950s and the first to enter the licensing business of perfumes, accessories and even food – now a major profit factor for many fashion houses.
“It’s the same for me if I make sleeves for dresses or table legs,” he once read a quote about his website.
As difficult as it may be to imagine decades later, Armani candies, Bulgari hotels and Gucci sunglasses are based on Cardin’s awareness that the charm of a fashion brand had infinite marketing potential.
Over the years, his name has been stamped on razor blades, household items and sticky accessories – even cheap boxer shorts.
He once said that he would not mind having his initials, the PC, engraved in rolls of toilet paper and was also the inspiration for a phallus-like perfume balloon.
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 to market my name,” Cardin told the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung in 2007. “Does money ruin ideas?” I don’t dream of money after all, but while I dream, I make money. It was never about money. ”
Born near Venice on July 2, 1922, to French parents of Italian descent, Cardin was educated in the not-so-charming French town of Saint Etienne.
He went to work for a tailor in Vichy nearby at the age of 17 and dreamed for a while of becoming an actor, working on stage, as well as modeling and dancing professionally.