Legendary designer Paco Rabanne has passed away

paco rabanne
Legendary designer Paco Rabanne has passed awayDaniel Simon - Getty Images

Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne has passed away, aged 88. The sad news has been confirmed by the company Puig, which owns his namesake label.

The designer leaves behind a great legacy, having had enormous influence on the fashion industry, particularly with his space age-inspired sequin chainmail dresses and bags, which were first presented back in the 1960s, and are still favourites today.

fashion in the sixties in france on july 28, 1967

In a statement released by the company, José Manuel Albesa, president of Puig’s fashion and beauty division, celebrated Rabanne's "radical, rebellious spirit [which] set him apart", adding: "There is only one Rabanne."

"Paco Rabanne made transgression magnetic,"he said. "Who else could induce fashionable Parisian women to clamour 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?"

modern chain mail
Paco Rabanne in 1965Keystone - Getty Images

Rabanne founded his namesake label in 1966, having previously worked on accessories for houses including Dior, Givenchy and Balenciaga. His debut collection for his eponymous label caused a real stir at the time. Entitled 'Manifesto: 12 unwearable dresses in contemporary materials', he presented designs in unconventional fabrics, including plastic, metal and paper.

During his career, his designs were favoured by some of the most famous women in the world, including Audrey Hepburn and Jane Fonda, the latter of which wore one of his costumes in the film Barbarella. Rabanne retired in 1999, but his label lives on. It was revived by Puig in 2011 with designer Manish Arora, and later, Julien Dossena, who still leads the creative direction of the fashion house.

"A major personality in fashion, his was a daring, revolutionary and provocative vision, conveyed through a unique aesthetic," said Marc Puig, chairman and chief executive officer of Puig. "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."

paco rabanne
Paco Rabanne in 1975Francois LOCHON - Getty Images

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