A timeless design, crafted entirely from a seamless surface of metal discs, the 1969 Paco Rabanne bag is made to last forever.
The space-age visionary fashion designer Paco Rabanne has died at 88 at his home in France. The French-Spanish fashion designer is known as an enfant terrible of the 1960s French fashion world. He used unconventional material such as metal, paper, and plastic for his metal couture and outlandish and flamboyant designs.
“The House of Paco Rabanne wishes to honour our visionary designer and founder who passed away today at the age of 88. Among the most seminal fashion figures of the 20th century, his legacy will remain a constant source of inspiration.” said the Puig group, the owner of the Paco Rabanne fashion brand, in a statement.
“We are grateful to Monsieur Rabanne for establishing our avant-garde heritage and defining a future of limitless possibilities.”
Paco Rabanne fashion house shows its collections at Paris Fashion Week and is scheduled to unveil the brand’s latest ready-to-wear designs at the end of February.
“Paco Rabanne made transgression magnetic. Who else could induce fashionable Parisian women (to) clamor 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?” said the statement.
Paco Rabanne started his career in fashion by creating jewelry for Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga and founded his own fashion house in 1966. For the debut of his namesake brand in 1966, he presented “Manifesto: 12 unwearable dresses in contemporary materials”. In 1968, he began collaborating with fragrance company Puig, which resulted in the company marketing Rabanne’s perfumes.
Rabanne is known for the green costume worn by Jane Fonda in the 1968 science-fiction film Barbarella. The singer song-writer Françoise Hardy was a big fan of Rabanne’s designs. For Tour 1996 and the resulting Live à Bercy, singer Mylène Farmer had Rabanne do her live-concert stage costumes.
Paco Rabanne was also famous for his eccentric statements on television.
In 1999, Rabanne officially retired. His fashion house has gone through its ups and downs since, but it remains prominent and respected for his perfumes and trademark metallic collections.
In mid-2013, Belgian and former Balenciaga designer Julien Dossena was appointed creative director of womenswear at Paco Rabanne. Dossena’s designs were subsequently praised by fashion critics. The ateliers are located in Paris above the flagship store of Nina Ricci, another Puig fashion company, on Avenue Montaigne. In January 2016, a new store opened on Paris’ Rue Cambon, following the closure of the remaining Paco Rabanne boutiques more than ten years earlier.
A re-edit of his classic “le 69” bag was relaunched by Comme des Garçons.