Designer Pierre Cardin was sporting a striped shirt and plaid butterfly bow tie as he talked to reporters at a showing of his fashions in Montreal in June 1974.
Jean Pierre Rivest / Montreal Gazette
The front page of the Montreal Gazette on June 28, 1974, featured details of a royal visit by “the Queen Mum” — Queen Elizabeth, the mother of our current Queen.But inside the newspaper was a story about a “royal” of another sort: designer Pierre Cardin, who had come to Montreal to talk about style in general and his menswear line of clothing in particular.This photograph by Jean Pierre Rivest shows Cardin holding court in a dark bluish grey suit with a striped shirt and a plaid butterfly bowtie.The Paris-based designer was a familiar name to Montrealers then. Between 1965 and 1985, there were more than 1,500 references to Cardin on our pages, many of them in ads for The Bay, Eaton and Simpson’s department stores.That’s because Cardin, who had made his reputation as an avant-garde designer, was a popularizer of “ready to wear” fashion: factory-made clothing with an haut de gamme label.A few months after Cardin’s visit, an ad for Eaton’s “Distinction Shop” in the Gazette featured “a superbly tailored” Pierre Cardin suit “that’s a reflection of your good taste and assurance” for $200. You could also get a Cardin tapered shirt for between $16 and $32 and a Cardin tie for $6.50 to $10.But Cardin was also a pioneer in branding, lending his name to items from facial tissues and towels to chocolates — even a car. He had become a household name, we reported in 1974.Pierre Cardin turns 97 next week, on July 2.Related