Legendary designer Pierre Cardin has died. The fashion icon who became synonymous with space age aesthetics passed away at the age of 98 on Tuesday, December 29 in a suburb of Paris. His family shared in a statement that they "are all proud of his tenacious ambition and the daring he has shown throughout his life."

Born outside Treviso, Italy in 1922, Cardin displayed an affinity for dressmaking from an early age. By 14 he had attained an apprenticeship at a clothiers, and at age 17 he was working for a tailor in Vichy. Relocating to Paris at the conclusion of WWII, Cardin worked with Elsa Schiaparelli before rising to the position of head tailor at Christian Dior in 1947. Film buffs will note that around this time, Cardin lent his services to the creation of the rapturous costumes seen in Jean Cocteau's 1946 art-house classic La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast).

Cardin founded his own house in 1950, and it was during this decade that he is credited with revolutionizing the model of brand licensing, now an innate part of the fashion industry's DNA. He became the first designer to sell his garments in department stores, as well as licensing the brand name for ranges of perfumes, accessories, and all manner of ephemera. Business of Fashion writes "Hard as it may be to imagine decades later, Armani chocolates, Bulgari hotels and Gucci sunglasses are all based on Cardin’s realization that a fashion brand’s glamor had endless merchandising potential."

It was in the 1960s that Cardin's creativity flourished even further. His designs became a continuous benchmark for space age fashion and futuristic design, with his Cosmocorps collection being of particular note. With his geometric shapes (the bubble dress, first and foremost) and his eye-popping melange of prints, Cardin's aesthetic was groundbreaking for its time, but nearly inescapably influential ever since. "Every dress is an adventure in ideas," he told Vogue in 1964.

Far from inactive in the years since, Cardin reportedly was going into the office every day as recently as last year. Just this February, he had collaborated with a designer 70 years his junior for a collection honoring his iconic geometrical silhouettes. In hindsight, it could not have been a more fitting homage for one of the designer's final projects.

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