The bright Lights Beckon
A teenage Pierre apprentices with a clothier and later a tailor, setting the foundations for a brilliant career in fashion. During the Second World War, he works for the Red Cross, and after the Liberation of France he moves to Paris, the fashion capital of the world.
Impressing His Elders
While studying architecture, Cardin takes several fashion jobs, including working on costumes for a Jean Cocteau film. An introduction by the famed French writer and filmmaker to designer Christian Dior leads to Cardin joining the latter's atelier.
A Beautiful Beginning
Pierre Cardin leaves Dior to found his own atelier. A masquerade ball at Palazzo Labia in Venice on September 3, 1951 presents the imaginative young couturier with the perfect opportunity to showcase his talents. He designs 30 costumes for this 'party of the century' to great acclaim.
Durchbruch mit dem Ballonkleid
Cardin's passion with geometric shapes, particularly the bubble, prompts him to design the bubble dress. It's a hit with chic Parisians giving him the confidence to open his first boutique at 118, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. He christens the shop Eve.
Pioneer in the East
Setting a precedent for other designers of the era, Cardin travels to Japan. His is the first international high fashion house to open a boutique there selling womenswear and menswear. The Japanese respond by making him an honorary professor at Bunka Fashion College, where the student of the year receives the coveted Pierre Cardin award.
Man's exploration of space in the early 1960s fuels Cardin's futuristic vision. His collections are influenced by science fiction and scientific discovery, both in cut and fabric – he is the first couturier to use synthetic materials.
Mentor für die Talente von morgen
A champion of young creatives, Cardin opens Espace Pierre Cardin in Paris. The new complex hosts a full program of exhibitions and events dedicated to emerging artists and designers, adding further vibrancy to the Parisian cultural scene.
The Golden Years
Cardin is a three-time recipient of the Golden Thimble - in 1977, 1979 and 1982 – acknowledging his place in the upper echelons of French fashion. The award, chosen by a panel of fashion journalists, honours the designer judged to be making the most significant impact in haute couture.
Pierre Cardin's stellar career is recognized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The designer receives the prestigious International Award at the annual CFDA Fashion Awards. It is a fitting tribute to his more than half a century spent at the cutting-edge of fashion and design.
The enduring avant-garde style of Pierre Cardin can be viewed at the designer's new museum. Called Past-Present-Future and opening at 5 rue St-Merri in the artistic Le Marais district of Paris in November, the museum showcases more than 200 of Cardin's haute couture designs, including his daring geometric cuts and the iconic bubble dress, as well as accessories, jewellery and furniture. Visitors can appreciate the flawless tailoring and bold experimentation that have characterised the master's work since his first collection in 1953.