New York

Pierre Cardin, dress with vinyl boots, gloves, and Halo hat, 1968, gelatin silver print, 10 × 6 1⁄2"

Pierre Cardin, dress with vinyl boots, gloves, and Halo hat, 1968, gelatin silver print, 10 × 6 1⁄2"

“Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion”

Brooklyn Museum

Ninety-seven-year-old Pierre Cardin is fashion’s first mogul; his name evokes the epitome of French chic the world over, though he’s Italian by birth. His story is one of both creative and commercial prowess: After spending his youth honing his craft working under Jeanne Paquin, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Christian Dior, Cardin opened his own shop in 1950 and was soon lauded as Paris’s finest couturier of suits. Believing that all women should be able to afford smart, well-made clothes, he debuted a ready-to-wear collection in 1959—a vulgarity his peers deemed unthinkable until they, out of economic necessity, followed his lead. In fashion, “democratize” is synonymous with “capitalize,” and Cardin did both with aplomb. By the late ’60s, having produced the mod and space-age designs for both men and women that would become his signature looks, he became the first designer to sell his logo,

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