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Paco Rabanne dies aged 88

By Rachel Douglass


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Portrait of Paco Rabanne. Credit: Photo by Leemage via AFP

Spanish-born designer Paco Rabanne is confirmed to have passed away at the age of 88 in Portsall, France.

The news was announced in an Instagram post, on the account of the designer’s namesake brand.

In the statement, the house said: “The House of Paco Rabanne wishes to honour our visionary designer and founder who passed away 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.”

Outlandish designs and controversial beliefs

Rabanne, who notably has remained out of the public eye for much of his career, began in the industry making jewellery for a number of fashion houses, including the likes of Dior and Balenciaga, before founding his own namesake brand in 1966.

Paco Rabanne at a presentation with models in Tokyo (May 1969). Photo: Panasisa / AFP

During this year, Rabanne presented his debut collection entitled ‘12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials’, catapulting himself and his brand into the spotlight.

He became known for his outlandish designs, including a costume worn by Jane Fonda in sci-fi film Barbarella, in 1968.

That same year, the brand established its partnership with Puig, which began the distribution of Paco Rabanne perfumes.

The products were received positively by consumers, despite the declining reputation of the fashion business, which began to slip after Rabanne went public with his beliefs in the occult and various Armageddon predictions.

In 2011, however, Puig revived the dormant fashion brand, years after it initially acquired the label at the end of the 1990s, bringing back its ready-to-wear line and relaunching its accessories collection.

Initially, the group appointed India’s Manish Arora to lead as creative director, however, in 2013, it announced Julien Dossena would be taking over the role. Dossena still remains in the position.

Paco Rabanne