French fashion designer Pierre Cardin dies at 98

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Legendary French fashion designer Pierre Cardin died Tuesday at the age of 98 at a hospital in Neuilly in western Paris, his family told AFP.

Cardin was born in Italy in 1922 but emigrated to France as a small child.

Cutting his teeth working at top couture houses such as Christian Dior, Cardin went on to launch his own brand and pioneered the use of licensing in fashion, plastering his label’s name on products of all kinds. His savvy business sense brought him a mix of admiration but also scorn from fashion purists at the time.

In the 1960s and '70s he upended traditional fashion with his futuristic, avant-garde looks. He became known for his visionary creations, shaking up fashion with bubble dresses and geometrical designs. Cardin was also one of the first to bring high fashion to the masses by selling collections in department stores beginning in the late 1950s.

While he no longer presented runway collections in his later years, Cardin remained active in the industry, attending parties and events and taking young designers under his wing.

He had previously been a mentor to prominent designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier.

His death was also announced by France's Academy of Fine Arts on Twitter.

“It is with great sadness that the members of the Academy of Fine Arts announce the death of their fellow member Pierre Cardin," the academy tweeted.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and Reuters)