• Solange McKenzie

Pierre Cardin: A Trailblazer of Fashion

Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin introduced his fashion house to the world in 1950. His Avant-Garde style incorporates the use of geometric shapes to create unisex, space aged designs and while not particularly practical, wearable art. As young as 14 years old, Cardin learned fashion design during his apprenticeship for a clothier, and then a tailor. As a Tailor, Cardin, ventured into suit making for women. In 1945, before starting his own brand, he studied architecture while working with many other fashion houses. Cardin work with Paquin, Schiaparelli, and was the Head of tallieure atilier for Christian Dior in 1947. 

Blue Vynal Skirt and Necklace with Plexiglass Visor, 1979

The launch of Cardins career started when he designed costumes for a masquerade ball at Palazzo Labia in 1951. Cardin then launched a Haute Couture line a few years later. However, over the course of Cardins career he introduced many groundbreaking ideas making him the first of many trends used to this day. He decided to use Japan as a market for high fashion. His brand was also the first to display his logo on his garments, paving the way for the popular monogram motifs. During the 70’s he introduced the fringe/Pom-Pom dresses and skirts by combining the mini and maxi hemlines of the 70’s. Cardin also introduced the mod chic trend to the fashion industry. Additionally Cardin even designed a space suit for NASA. As a trailblazer in the fashion industry, Cardin was also one of the five French designers chosen to showcase during the Battle of Versailles.

Kinetic Wool Dress, 1970

On top of his accomplishments as a designe, Cardin is a humanitarian. During World War II he did work with the Red Cross and has done work with the Goodwill designated as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1991 and FAO Goodwill Ambassador in 2009.

-Solange McKenzie

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