In noting the passing away of Pierre Cardin, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my early days in textiles, back in the late 1970s. At that time I worked in a bespoke label manufacturing business known as Bell Woven Labels which then had 25% of the UK market in bespoke, woven-edge labels. Woven labels were for expensive garments (just as printed labels are for the cheap). They conveyed information such as:
- where a garment was manufactured,
- what it was made of
- washing / care instructions
- and in the case of larger customers such as M&S and IWS, a supply chain code.
- most important though was the branding.
At that time the technology to produce bespoke Woven Labels, required significant investment which in turn too many years to recoup. The investment was in setting up and production technology for Vaupel looms, Jacquard cut designs, winding weft, warping and twisting the warp; added to this was the artwork and design process that converted brands into reality, whilst not losing sight of the objective: a good quality label that, as far as the customer was concerned, neither snagged nor irritated the skin. Then there was customer acquisition.
Bell Woven had a team of salesmen who were regulars at fashion shows – before a haute couture collection could be released, it had to have well designed and difficult to imitate labels. Pierre Cardin was a valued client in those long ago days. For that memory alone I bid him a respectful adieu and I hope that he achieved all his goals