French couturier and one of Europe's leading fashion designers. He was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1974.
The son of a wine merchant, Cardin started working at the age of seventeen for a gentleman's tailor in Vichy, where he learnt the craft of cutting and fitting. He joined the French Red Cross during the latter half of World War II and then moved to Paris to join the fashion designer Paquin, where he was commissioned to design costumes for the Jean Cocteau film, Beauty and the Beast. Cardin subsequently joined Christian Dior and contributed to Dior's famous inaugural collection of 1947 as the creator of the ‘Bar’ suit. In 1950 he established his own workshop, designing costumes and fashions for both men and women. In the mid-1950s he moved to an elegant eighteenth-century mansion in the Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where he has carried on his immensely successful business selling elegant clothes for men and women, as well as a wide range of colourful and often whimsical accessories.
Cardin was also the founder of L'Espace Pierre Cardin theatre group and since 1970 has been a director of the Ambassadeurs-Pierre Cardin Theatre. He acquired control of the legendary Parisian restaurant, Maxims, in 1982 and his book, Fernand Léger, was published in 1971.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).