Fashion designer Paco Rabanne dies aged 88
Paco Rabanne, the Spanish-born designer, has died at the age of 88 in Portsall, Brittany.
The death of Francisco Rabaneda y Cuervo – Rabanne’s birth name – was confirmed by a spokesperson for Spanish group Puig, which controls the Paco Rabanne label he exited two decades ago.
He founded his namesake brand in1966, and while it is now best-known for is aftershaves and perfumes, it was his space age designs in the 1960s that first brought him to the attention of many.
A statement shared on the fashion house’s official Instagram account said: “The House of Paco Rabanne wishes to honour our visionary designer and founder who passed away today at the age of 88.
“Among the most seminal fashion figures of the 20th century, his legacy will remain a constant source of inspiration.
“We are grateful to Monsieur Rabanne for establishing our avant-garde heritage and defining a future of limitless possibilities.”
Dubbed an “enfant terrible” in his early years, he helped upset the status quo of the Paris fashion scene, alongside fellow French designers Pierre Cardin and Andre Courreges.
His flamboyant designs frequently used unconventional material such as metal, paper, and plastic, with his first collection aptly titled: “Manifesto: 12 unwearable dresses in contemporary materials”.
Presented by barefoot models on a catwalk in a luxury Paris hotel, the collection included a chain mail-inspired minidress made of aluminium plates.
Embracing cutting edge materials and modern ways of working, he used plyers rather than a needle and thread to create the craft outfits, which made from strips of plastic linked with metal rings.
The collection – which simultaneously looked both space age and medieval – has gone on to inspire numerous contemporary designers.
Commenting on the influential 1966 show, president of Puig’s beauty and fashion division Jose Manuel Albesa said: “Paco Rabanne made transgression magnetic. Who else could induce fashionable Parisian women (to) clamour for dresses made of plastic and metal,”