Sixty years after launching himself into the world of fashion, French icon Pierre Cardin has nothing to prove, but next week he will return to centre stage during men's fashion week, staging his first presentation in 10 years.
"I still think I have something to say," Cardin told AFP in an interview ahead of the July 4 show in Paris, at which he will unveil new creations for spring-summer 2007 on wooden mannequins, just two days after turning 84.
The designer, known for his bold, geometric avant-garde designs, says he is determined to show that he was still around and just as creative as he always was.
"If I'm getting dated they will see it. Perhaps they are right, I've never made any claims," he said, relaxing in his Paris office, lined with books, press cuttings and photos taken with some of the world's most famous personalities.
Cardin's return to the menswear calendar on the last of five jam packed days of catwalk shows in the French capital will see him sharing the spotlight with one of the industry's top trendsetters, Hedi Slimane for Christian Dior, where Cardin got his start 60 years ago.
The son of an Italian immigrant, he was once "lucky enough to be the youngest fashion designer in Paris," when he started at Dior in 1946, and now he's "obviously the oldest", said Cardin.
Six decades later he has created a vast empire, licensing sales of some 800 products bearing his name in 170 countries including everything from clothing, to a chain of Maxim's restaurants, perfumes, hotels, design and cultural institutes such as the Espace Cardin in Paris and the Chateau Lacoste in France's Luberon region.