PARIS (Reuters) - Pierre Cardin, one of the longest lasting living French fashion designers, has put his fashion label up for sale, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Tuesday.
Cardin, known for his avant-garde designs, told the paper he was hoping to get as much as 1 billion euros ($1.48 billion) for his business, principally made up of license contracts, which critics say have contributed to weakening the brand's image.
But luxury bankers estimated his company was probably worth around 200 million euros -- though admittedly on guesswork, the paper said.
Cardin told the paper he had no idea how much sales his business generated overall as its revenues were split up in so many license contract deals.
Cardin, 88, said he wanted to sell his company to make sure his name would outlive him, but he stressed he wanted to remain the brand's creative director.
"I want to sell it now," he told the Journal. "I know I won't be here in a few years, and the business needs to continue."
He said he had met with an English investor three times and with American and Chinese investors.
Cardin rose to fame in the 1960s with his space-age, geometric shapes and minimalist style, which he continued to explore in the 1970s but which started falling out of favor with fashion critics in the late 1980s and 1990s.
Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Will Waterman