Paco Rabanne, Couturier of the Space Age, Passes away at 88

Paco Rabanne

Spanish designer Paco Rabanne died on Friday in Portsall, France at the age of 88. The Puig group that owns his eponymous fashion house confirmed the news while no cause of death was given.

‘I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Paco Rabanne. 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. 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,’ stated Marc Puig, Chairman and CEO in a press release.

‘Paco Rabanne made transgression magnetic. Who else could induce fashionable Parisian women to clamor for dresses made of plastic and metal?,’ Jose Manuel Albesa, president of beauty and fashion at Puig, said in a statement.

Born in 1934 near San Sebastian, Spain, Rabanne studied architecture at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris before switching to the fashion industry at the age of 30. He broke through in the 1960s, and was one of the co-founders of the Space Age movement alongside Andre Courreges and Pierre Cardin. He costumed Jane Fonda in the 1968 sci-fi film Barbarella, and in 1969, launched his first perfume called “Calandre” which quickly became an extremely successful line of business.

Rabanne retired in 1999 after a career spanning three decades. He was made an officer of the Legion of Honor in France in 2010 in recognition of his contribution to the world of fashion. In 2011, Puig revived Rabanne’s ready-to-wear line under the creative direction of Manish Arora, followed by Lydia Maurer. In 2014 Julien Dossena was appointed creative director and continues the Rabanne legacy.

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