French fashion designer Pierre Cardin dies aged 98

Legendary designer and fashion icon Pierre Cardin has passed away at 98 on Tuesday, his family confirmed to AFP. He passed away in a hospital in Neuilly, outside Paris.

The designer was born as Pietro Constante Cardin in Italy in 1924. His family soon relocated to France to escape Mussolini’s fascist regime.

Cardin first rose to prominence in the 1960s with his futuristic and avant-garde designs, and has since become one of the household names in high fashion. During the period, Cardin's simple, high-collared suits were a hit with the Beatles. It was one of many ways his work extended past fashion-show runways — he also designed uniforms for nurses and for Pakistan International Airlines.

Apart from creating clothes for women, Cardin spurred what Vogue magazine called a “revolution” in menswear, one of the highpoints of which was making the suits worn by the Beatles.

The French Académie des Beaux-Arts also issued several statements mourning his passing. "Immense sadness," the academy's secretary general Cyril Barthalois said via Twitter, adding, "Equally great joy of having known him" through the academy.

In the business world, Cardin is known for his eager embrace of brand licensing, putting his name on products that had nothing to do with high fashion – including frying pans, as NPR has reported.

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