Paco Rabanne dies at 88

Written by Dana Bilodedenko


Posted on February 03 2023

Paco Rabanne — the Spanish designer best known for his Space-Age aesthetic, use of metallics and swift-selling fragrances — has died at 88. His death was confirmed by Spanish group Puig, which controls the Paco Rabanne fashion house and fragrance business.⁠

“Paco Rabanne made transgression magnetic. Who else could induce fashionable Parisian women clamor for dresses made of plastic and metal? Who but Paco Rabanne could imagine a fragrance called Calandre – the word means ‘automobile grill’ – and turn it into an icon of modern femininity? That radical, rebellious spirit set him apart: there is only one Rabanne,” said Jose Manuel Albesa, president of beauty and fashion at Puig.

“A major personality in fashion, his was a daring, revolutionary and provocative vision, conveyed through a unique aesthetic,” added chairman Marc Puig.

Rabanne founded his label in 1966. His sequined skirts and chain-mail minidresses attracted fans like Jane Birkin and landed him the role of costume designer for cult film Barbarella.

The designer retired in 1999, stepping out of the public eye. His label lay dormant until 2011, when it was revived by Puig, first with Indian designer Manish Arora and then with Frenchman Julien Dossena, who worked at Balenciaga under Nicolas Ghesquière and has designed the label since 2013.

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