Pierre Cardin, businessman and prophet

María Luísa FunesMaría Luísa Funes




Like so many other emigrants who left northern Italy in search of fortune, Pierre Cardin He was an unrepentant hustler, adapted his name to his adopted country and demonstrated great business skills. The creator and entrepreneur was born in the Italian region of Veneto, an area from which many other giants of the textile and footwear sector have emerged, among which are the Benettons, from neighboring Treviso or the OTB group of Renzo Rosso, from Breganze (Vicenza ). Cardin became the true inventor of the fashion industry, as we know it today. Among his advanced achievements is the fact of having united fashion and the world of cinema back in the 60’s, including his designs in films with Jeanne Moreau or Mia Farrow and in productions directed by Jean Cocteau or Vittorio de Sica. Although he had been a good student in Parisian haute couture houses, Cardin played to democratize fashion, being one of the first exponents of prêt-à-porter and throwing the miniskirt.

Pierre Cardin ventured to visit Japan and China in 1957, places where the big fashion brands did not appear until decades later. Now that the Chinese giant has established itself as the main market in the sector, we can only marvel at its vision. His avant-garde and space-cut designs were the spearhead for a sidereal fashion that returns this next year.

Cardin pioneered selling his collections in warehouses like Printemps, in parading in China and Egypt back in the 70s, in approaching the world of hospitality by acquiring the Maxim’s restaurant in Paris in 1981 or in presenting his collections in his own eclectic space, his Espace Cardin, something that decades later he would copy their competition with the creation of their museums. And his dedication to those most in need was not lacking, something that has now become a promotional tool but which he brought to the fore as an FAO Goodwill Ambassador.

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This brilliant creator, lucid, hyperactive and always looking for new sensationsHe was above all an avant-garde businessman, and as such he was ahead of his time and also had occasions to be confused. Cardin ended up paying the duck for pioneering and growing exponentially. The big licensing projects occurred to him every time he established a relationship with a new supplier to create his accessories – initially scarves, glasses, perfumes, wallets and bags – which eventually became so numerous and poorly executed that they ended up with ruin your brand image. It was perhaps the visionary Pietro Cardini who planted the germ of the fast fashion, currently so in question.

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