Pierre Cardin, French designer of clothes for women and also a pioneer in the design of high fashion for men.
Cardin's father, a wealthy French wine merchant, wished him to study architecture, but from childhood, he was interested in dressmaking. At 17 he went to Vichy, France, to become a tailor at a men's shop. After World War II he joined the Parisian fashion house of Paquin, where he helped design the costumes for Jean Cocteau's film Beauty and the Beast.
In 1950 he opened a shop of his own and gradually gained a solid reputation as a male and female avant-garde suit maker.
In the mid-1960s his stark, short tunics and his use of vinyl, helmets, and goggles helped launch the so-called Space Age look.
Cocteau was so impressed with Cardin's work that he put him in touch with the famous designer Christian Dior, already internationally known at the time. Taken under the wing of Christian Dior, Cardin was on the team that helped to design the 1947 "New Look" collection.