PARIS – The Pierre Cardin House paid tribute to its founder a year after his death with an open-air performance in front of a 177-foot-tall replica of the Ariane 5 rocket.
The brand’s design team, led by Cardin’s great-grandson Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin, presented about 200 creations on the runway set on the runway of the National Museum of Aviation and Space near Le Bourget Airport on the outskirts of Paris.
The show on Friday night, held in front of 800 guests housed in open plastic tents, was broadcast live to audiences in Moscow’s cinemas; Tirana, Albania; Dallas and Mexico City.
The collection called “Pierre Cardin 3022” began with dozens of clothing combinations designed by Cardin, who continued to sketch until a few months before his death in December 2020 at the age of 98. They include a little black dress with a double plaid. hem, A-line dresses with graphic necklines and draped satin evening dresses.
Many of the outfits, inspired by his original 1967 collection Cosmocorps, were suitable for the Star Trek episode. Imagine jackets and coats with a triangular raised collar; two-tone knitted all-in-one and geometric dresses adorned with cosmonaut helmets, featuring a photo of Cardin in a 1971 Buzz Aldrin space suit at NASA.
“This year’s theme is space. That was my uncle’s favorite subject, “Basilicati-Cardin said in an interview at Cardin’s headquarters across from the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris.
The last time he saw the fashion veteran, they watched a television broadcast of the departure of four tourists on a spaceship operated by Space X Elon Musk. “It was the only thing that shone in his eye,” he said. “He was the original designer of the space age.”
The exhibition marked the beginning of a busy year for the brand, which seeks to boost its licensing business as it aims to double revenue over the next five years. He plans to restart pierrecardin.com website in February as a multi-purpose online platform that will eventually include e-commerce.
Meanwhile, Cardin’s historic headquarters and boutique are closing due to renovations, with plans to reopen later this year with a new 6,450-square-foot museum on the first floor. Meanwhile, the house is opening a temporary women’s shop in nearby Rue de Duras, while men’s clothing will be transferred to the Cardin store in Rue Royale next to its Maxim’s restaurant.
After renovations last year, the restaurant returned to the radar of the fashion industry, hosting events including Chanel dinner with high jewelry during Paris Fashion Week and the December wedding of influencer Camille Charrière and film producer François Larpin.
Basilicati-Cardin declined to disclose the group’s revenues for 2021, except that they said they were higher than the previous year. He has spent the last 12 months reviewing 600 licenses of this house, renewing about a quarter of the contracts in an attempt to tighten control over product quality.
Cardin famously refused to delegate responsibilities, which means that some aspects of his business were left unattended towards the end of his life.
“In the last five years, a little less attention has been paid to our licenses and production has been reduced. We are now in full recovery, despite COVID-19, so I am happy, ”said his successor, noting that the company bore the consequences of the pandemic along with its partners, some of whom have been doing business with Cardin for three decades. .
Basilicati-Cardin hopes that the fashion show will provide inspiration for about 200 users of the brand’s licenses and bring in new partners around the world.
“I would like to have more Russian licensed people,” he said, noting that Cardin once had 32 factories in the country during the Cold War. “They have the capacity, talent and power to do it, why not in a more Russian style?” What’s interesting is seeing how [licensees] interpret our brand. The Chinese, for example, are doing a very good job. ”
The European Commission said Monday it has launched a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Cardin and Germany’s Ahlers Group, its largest European licensee, may have violated EU competition rules by restricting licensees’ ability to sell crossover products with Pierre Cardin’s license. , including offline and online, as well as to specific customer groups. The house did not comment on the investigation.
Basilicati-Cardin works with a team of in-house designers, some of whom have been in the house for 35 years. “We produce between 15,000 and 18,000 designs a year,” he estimated, referring to sketches submitted to licensees.
“They are really amazing. I knew them before, but they dealt exclusively with my uncle. He is with me now and we talk every day, “he added. “We feel united. We are all about the same age, from 50 to 55. ”
An engineer by training, Basilicati-Cardin encourages the team to move to more sustainable fabrics, noting that Cardin was inspired by space travel to experiment with new and technologically advanced materials.
“At the time, he was focused on synthetic, plastic materials. Now I’m trying to get the whole team to work with recyclable or recyclable synthetic materials, ”he explained. “He was less concerned with environmental issues. He saw modernity. ”
Basilicati-Cardin also takes care to pass on the designer’s legacy to new generations, through partnerships with the Istituto Marangoni and other fashion schools. About half of the guests at the fashion show on Friday were fashion students. However, plans for a cultural center in Houdan, 40 miles west of Paris, have been put on hold for now.
Instead, Basilicati-Cardin is working on another tribute to Cardin to be held on July 2, the centenary of his birth. The CEO said it would be important for his great-uncle to see that his design studio remains active.
“He wouldn’t want us to toast him with champagne. He would like to know that young people had fun working for him. That is the greatest satisfaction, “he said.
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