Cardin's rise to fame started when he moved to Paris in 1945 after the war where he worked with Jeanne Paquin and studied architecture. He worked with Elsa Schiaparelli until he became head of Christian Dior's tailleure atelier in 1947.
Cardin founded his own house in 1950. His career was launched when he designed about 30 of the costumes for "the party of the century", a masquerade ball at Palazzo Labia in Venice on 3 September 1951, hosted by the palazzo's owner, Carlos de Beistegui. He began with haute couture in 1953.