Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, September 28, 2023

A Tale of Family Intrigue and Inheritance

CardinDespite Pierre Cardin's extensive accomplishments and brand success, the fashion designer never discussed the future of his company before he died in 2020, leaving the situation uncertain. His failure to plan for his company's future has resulted in a complex legal battle involving 22 of his grandnieces and grandnephews. Cardin has no direct heirs. His longtime partner, André Oliver, passed away in 1993.

On one side of the legal battle is Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin, a 52-year-old Italian who is the grandson of Cardin's older brother, Erminio. Rodrigo adopted the Cardin name in 2018 and has worked for Cardin for over two decades. He insists that he is the rightful heir. Since 2020, he has held the position of general manager of the holding company Pierre Cardin Evolution and serves as the artistic director of the Pierre Cardin brand. 

Meanwhile, on the other side, 19 cousins from six family branches aim to sell the company and receive financial gains. Among them, four cousins, namely Patricia, Laurence, Régine, and Marie-Christine, the granddaughters of Pierre Cardin's sister, Giovanna Cardin, have taken legal action by filing civil lawsuits and criminal complaints against Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin. They have accused him of various crimes, including elder abuse and forgery, although Basilicati-Cardin denies these allegations.

For more information see Dana Thomas “A Tale of Family Intrigue and Inheritance” The New York Times, September 25, 2023.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention. 


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