Pierre Cardin

Visionary designer and innovative businessman, Pierre Cardin founded the renowned fashion house that has been a tour de force for the past 60 years.

Born in San Andrea de Barbara to French parents on July 2, 1922, Pierre Cardin studied architecture at Saint-Etienne. His foray into fashion began as an apprentice at Manby men’s tailor in Vichy in 1939, after which he served during World War 2, choosing to work for The Red Cross.

As a tailor at the House of Dior during the opening in 1947, Pierre Cardin participated in the success of the new-look. His rise to fame and fortune is based on his two talents – fashion forward designs that captured the zeitgeist of the market, and formidable business acumen.

After three years, Pierre Cardin left Dior to head up the House of Cardin. In 1953, his first collection presented coats and suits with impeccable cut, inventiveness and a new sense of detail. Pierre Cardin was the first French designer to challenge London’s Savile Row by revolutionizing how the world looked at menswear. His menswear line was launched in 1958 and he defined new criteria for comfort and elegance with his innovative collection, which gathered worldwide praise.

Pierre Cardin was one of the early believers in ready-to-wear, not wanting to be only a haute couture label, but a brand. In 1959 he left haute couture and concentrated on prêt-a-porter, which in turn made fashion more available to a larger market where he became a trailblazer.

In 1960 he became the first designer to apply the brand licensing system, which defined the business of fashion from that decade and beyond. Through this licensing system he adapted his concept to the market, making him the first designer in the world with a number of licences as well as hitting new highs in sales volume.

With his entrepreneurial skills, Pierre Cardin was the first fashion designer to open up markets in Japan in 1958 and then in China in 1978. Pierre Cardin was the first designer to become established in China. He entered the French Academy of Arts and was appointed a UNESCO Ambassador. Pierre Cardin was the first to create the Beatles Suit, the Bubble Dress and Pagoda Shoulders for men’s tailored outerwear among many other innovative designs.

His vision of fashion has always moved with the times and he fervently believes “I am my biggest success.” Mr Pierre Cardin has also said, “If you are going to be copied you might as well do it yourself.”

PVH Brands Australia is the licensee for Australia for Pierre Cardin shirting, and for Pierre Cardin tailored suiting in Australasia.