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Jean-Pascal Hesse unveils new book 'Pierre Cardin: Fashion, Myth, Modernity'

Translated by
Sep 20, 2022

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Pierre Cardin's birth (born on July 2, 1922), Jean-Pascal Hesse, head of the Pierre Cardin Group's communications department, has written a new book entitled 'Pierre Cardin: Fashion, Myth, Modernity'. In 256 pages, the author paints an intimate portrait of the famous Italian couturier, notably through hundreds of vintage photographs, from his beginnings at Christian Dior to his dazzling success in the United States.

Pierre Cardin: Fashion, Myth, Modernity - Pierre Cardin

The book begins with a eulogy written by Hesse for the late Pietro Cardin (the designer's first name in Italian), who died in 2020, before evoking his childhood memories. The author, who worked with Cardin throughout his career, delivers personal moments of the designer such as his arrival to France from Italy.

One of the first photographs (in black and white) depicts the arrival of the future designer in Saint-Etienne, where his family had found refuge in 1928. Cardin as a little boy poses in the image, looking straight ahead and standing behind a wooden chair, wearing a cardigan that matches his worn-out polka-dot scarf.

Pierre Cardin as a boy in Saint-Etienne, in 1928 - Mode Mythe Modernité

The writer also looks back at the designer's golden years, during the 1950s and 1960s, when he developed licenses in many countries and made his mark on the women's and men's ready-to-wear sector. He mentioned how the 'Space Age' served as inspiration for the brand's iconic 'Cosmocorps' collection, which featured flared garments in bright colors as well as a unisex suit that challenged the time period's gender-based dress codes. 

Through this book, sprinkled with direct quotes, the readers can discover different facets of the designer. The man who would have loved to work in the entertainment industry has dressed all the stars of his time, such as Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, the Beatles and Dionne Warwick. "I could have been an actor, I could have been a dancer, I took acting classes... But I was afraid of not being the best," he said.

Cover of the album Make way for Dionne Warwick, 1964 - Mode Mythe Modernité

One of the book's many photographs features Warwick, wearing a sequinned sheath dress, which the singer found it "absolutely divine". In her opinion, Cardin had helped define modernity in the 1960s.

Written with the help of Pierre Pelegry and Jean Paul Gaultier, who wrote the foreword, the book 'Pierre Cardin: Fashion, Myth, Modernity' (49.99 euros) is scheduled to be available in bookstores on September 21.

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