Paco Rabanne has died in France at the age of 88, Puig – the group that now owns his eponymous fashion house – has confirmed
The Spanish designer, who rose to fame during the 1960s, was one of the co-creators of the Space Age movement, alongside the likes of André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin.
Born in 1934 near San Sebastián, Spain, Rabanne moved to France at a young age after fleeing the Spanish Civil War. He went on to study architecture at the École Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris, before moving into fashion at the age of 30. His breakthrough show in 1966 was entitled “Twelve Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials”, featuring his now trademark pieces made from metal and plastic. In 1969, the designer launched his first perfume, entitled Calandre, with fragrance quickly becoming a hugely successful part of his business.
After a three-decade-long career, Rabanne retired in 1999 and has stayed largely away from the public eye ever since. He was made an Officer of the Legion d’Honneur in France in 2010, in recognition of his contribution to the fashion world.
Following his exit, the brand underwent a five-year hiatus in 2006. It was revived in 2011 with Manish Arora at the helm. The fashion house’s current creative director, Julien Dossena, was appointed in 2013, continuing to build on the legacy of Rabanne. His signature paillettes have once again become a staple for international party girls, as worn by the likes of Dua Lipa and Kaia Gerber.