Spanish-born designer Paco Rabanne, known for his best-selling perfumes and unique Space Age fashion designs, has died. He was 88.
His label announced news of his death on Instagram Friday calling him a “visionary” and “seminal” figure in fashion.
“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,” the post reads alongside a portrait of Rabanne captured in 1999. “We are grateful to Monsieur Rabanne for establishing our avant-garde heritage and defining a future of limitless possibilities.”
Rabanne was a notable designer in the 1960s, creating pieces that stood out from his competitors with metallic, space-age fashions.
Marc Puig, chairman and chief executive officer of Puig — the Barcelona-based parent company of Rabanne’s brands — called the late designer a “major personality in fashion” and paid tribute to his “daring, revolutionary and provocative vision, conveyed through a unique aesthetic.”
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Paco Rabanne,” Puig told WWD. “The history of Puig and Paco Rabanne began in the late 1960s with the launch of Calandre, the perfume created soon after the designer released ’12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials.’
“A major personality in fashion, his was a daring, revolutionary and provocative vision, conveyed through a unique aesthetic,” Puig added. “He will remain an important source of inspiration for the Puig fashion and fragrance teams, who continuously work together to express Mr. Paco Rabanne’s radically modern codes. I extend my sincere condolences to his family and to those who have known him.”
Puig’s fashion president, José Manuel Albesa, hailed Rabanne’s designs, which he said “made transgression magnetic”.
He added: “Who else could induce fashionable Parisian women to clamor for dresses made of plastic and metal? Who but Paco Rabanne could imagine a fragrance called Calandre – the word means ‘automobile grill,’ you know – and turn it into an icon of modern femininity? That radical, rebellious spirit set him apart: There is only one Rabanne. With his passing, we are reminded once again of his enormous influence on contemporary fashion, a spirit that lives on in the house that bears his name.”
Rabanne was rarely been seen in the public eye since he retired from fashion in 1999, after his 33rd couture presentation on July 17 of that year.
Puig revived Rabanne’s dormant fashion business in 2011. Rabanne’s fashion house shows its collections in Paris, and is scheduled to unveil the brand’s latest ready-to-wear designs during fashion week from Feb. 27-March 3.
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