Fashion world reacts to death of French designer aged 98

The world of fashion has paid tribute to the “extraordinary” designer Pierre Cardin, who has passed away at the age of 98.

Cardin, whose career spanned seven decades, sent shockwaves through the fashion scene of the 1950s and 60s with his futuristic pieces, and pioneered a new way of conducting business by successfully licensing his own name. 

Jean Paul Gaultier, the French designer first hired by Cardin in 1970, thanked his former mentor on Twitter for “opening the doors to fashion and making my dream possible”.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, artistic director at Benetton, told AFP that Cardin’s “inspiration boosted my imagination”, and that the late designer was “a very extraordinary man”.

Elsewhere, Cardin was praised by Kim Jones, artistic director of Dior’s men’s collections, who said he “really looked to the future and formed the language for the modern landscape of fashion”. Nina Garcia, Elle Magazine’s editor-in-chief and a judge on Project Runway, said “today the fashion world is a little darker. We lost one of our lighthouses”.

She added: “His curiosity, his vision and his love for the art of fashion helped shape the dreams of many women during the second half of the twentieth century. Even today his designs are truly modern, with silhouettes and fabrics that have inspired many contemporary designers.”

Indian designer Manish Malhotra said: “Pierre Cardin’s finesse and appeal has revolutionized fashion and style since seven decades, and will continue to do so in many years to come.”

Cardin’s death was announced on Tuesday December 29 in a statement from France’s Fine Arts Academy, with his family also confirming the news.

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