PARIS—Pierre Cardin, the designer whose space-age clothes made him a pillar of avant-garde fashion and who later earned his fortune—and criticism—licensing his name to hundreds of mass-market products, died Tuesday morning in the French capital region. He was 98 years old.
France’s Academy of Fine Arts announced his death and said his family didn’t disclose a cause.
Born Pietro Costante Cardin in Sant’Andrea di Barbarana, Italy, Mr. Cardin immigrated to France with his parents in the 1920s.
Pierre Cardin: From a Tailor’s Cutter to Fashion Mogul
After working for years in haute couture, Mr. Cardin became one of the first couturiers to make ready-to-wear versions of his designs, with a collection for the Printemps department store in 1959. Starting in the 1960s, Mr. Cardin’s futuristic silhouettes and use of experimental materials propelled him into the public consciousness, changing how people imagined the future. His 1964 collection Cosmocorps featured vinyl, plexiglass and elliptical pants.
“I was very influenced by the satellites, by the moon, by the entire cosmos, by astronauts,” Mr. Cardin said in 2010. “My first designs were based on the moon.”
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