PARIS--Pierre Cardin abruptly canceled his haute couture runway presentation Thursday, reducing the couture season here to just 21 shows. The Cardin show had been scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. Instead, Cardin will present his collection on an appointment-only basis to his clients and a few selected journalists in February. According to a spokesman for Cardin, the designer is determined to "protect the creativity of his couture for clients, who want to buy exclusive models and pay a very high price." "Mr. Cardin also wants to protect his ideas in couture for his many licensees," the spokesman claimed. Cardin has over 700 licensing contracts, more than any other designer. Cardin is also concerned that couture shows are now broadcast on French TV within days of taking place, according to the spokesman. "Mr. Cardin is determined that manufacturers in Sentier [the district of garment sweatshops] must not be able to copy his designs just 48 hours after he presents them on the runway," he said. He also argued that the only reason most houses still showed couture on the runway was not to sell clothes, but to "create media excitement to help sales of perfumes and licensing products." Cardin last presented a couture collection on a runway in January 1994.
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