Epic Legal Battle Erupts Over Pierre Cardin’s Unorganized Estate
The late French fashion designer, Pierre Cardin, who passed away in December 2020 from Covid-19 complications at the age of 98, left his vast empire in disarray, sparking a fierce legal battle among his 22 nieces and nephews. Cardin, who never married or had children, built an extensive empire since founding his brand in 1950, encompassing properties in France, New York, and Venice, among other locations. This lack of organization has led to a chaotic succession struggle among his heirs.
A Grandnephew’s Claim
Leading the fight for Cardin’s estate is his grandnephew, Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin, who served his great-uncle for over 20 years and currently holds the positions of the general manager of Pierre Cardin Evolution and the artistic director of the Pierre Cardin brand. Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin claims to be the rightful heir, citing an unsigned and unregistered will as evidence. However, this claim is fiercely contested by 19 cousins hailing from six other family branches, who have a different plan for the business.
The Cousins’ Counterclaim
The group of 19 cousins intends to sell the company and distribute the proceeds. Four cousins from this faction have even taken their dispute to the courtroom, filing lawsuits and criminal complaints against Basilicati Cardin. They accuse him of elder abuse and fraud, allegations he vehemently denies. This group disputes the validity of the will wielded by Basilicati Cardin, stating that since it was unsigned and unregistered, it doesn’t hold legal weight. A judge agreed with this argument in March, but Basilicati Cardin has since appealed that decision, and a Paris court of appeals is expected to deliver a ruling by the end of the year.
The Future of the Pierre Cardin Brand
The future of the Pierre Cardin brand hangs in the balance as the legal battle rages on. In the event the company is sold, big companies have been lining up to acquire the Cardin group. Last year, one company reportedly offered 800 million euros for the acquisition. However, if Basilicati Cardin’s claim to the estate is upheld, the brand’s future will be determined by his vision for the company. To complicate matters further, the European Commission has recently informed the Pierre Cardin brand and its German licensee, Ahlers, that they may have breached EU antitrust rules. This adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing legal battle and the future of the Pierre Cardin brand.
A Legacy Left in Limbo
Pierre Cardin’s legacy is currently in a state of limbo, embroiled in a feud that threatens to tarnish the reputation of the iconic fashion house. The lack of a clear succession plan has led to bitter infighting among Cardin’s descendants, casting a shadow over the future of the brand. As the legal battle continues, the fashion world watches with bated breath, waiting to see who will ultimately gain control of Cardin’s empire and what this will mean for the future of the Pierre Cardin brand.
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