The man who brought Western fashion to China
Pierre Cardin died this week at the age of 98. Although many people are nowadays familiar with many Western brands and Chinese design is flourishing, Pierre Cardin was regarded as icon for Western fashion during China's early reform and opening-up in 1970s and introduced his designs to China.
After a first visit in 1978, a Pierre Cardin organized in 1979 the first fashion show for a foreign brand in China at the Beijing National Culture Palace. In 1985, Pierre Cardin introduced 12 models from China to the Paris Fashion Show. This was the first time Chinese models appeared on an international fashion show.
To celebrate 40 years Pierre Cardin in China, a spectacular fashion show was organized on September 20, 2018 on the Great Wall of China.
Cardin did not only introduce French couture to China but also French cuisine. He opened a Maxim's restaurant in Beijing in 1983, two years after he bought the renowned French restaurant in France. It was the first French haute cuisine restaurant in Beijing, causing a public sensation with headlines on China's state television.
For a long time, the Beijing Maxim's restaurant was dubbed "the second French embassy," a high-end meeting venue for politicians, dignitaries and artists.