Banking products, PARIS—Pierre Cardin, the designer whose Space Age clothes made him a progenitor of avant-garde fashion and who later earned a fortune—and criticism—licensing his name to hundreds of mass-market products, died Tuesday in the French capital region. He was 98 years old.
France’s Academy of Fine Arts, which announced his death, said his family didn’t disclose a cause.
Inspired by the jet age, Mr. Cardin’s futuristic silhouettes and use of experimental materials propelled him into the public consciousness in the 1960s, changing how people imagined the future. His designs of the era featured ellipses and circles, clothes made from vinyl, and accessories molded of plexiglass. In an early ’60s episode of the Space Age cartoon “The Jetsons,” one character describes her dress as a “Pierre Martian original.”
“I was very influenced by the satellites, by the moon, by the entire cosmos, by astronauts,” Mr. Cardin said in 2010. “My first designs were based on the moon.”
Mr. Cardin shook up the fashion industry over more than seven decades of work. He became one of the first French couturiers to sell ready-to-wear versions of his designs and pioneered the use of licensing. Starting in the 1970s, he began to sell the rights to his name widely, on everything from sunglasses and perfume to cars and kitchen appliances. Mr. Cardin once said he would license his name for a roll of toilet paper if given the chance.