Paco Rabanne died in France at the age of 88, according to Puig, the firm that now controls his namesake fashion label. Along with people like André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin, the Spanish fashion designer, who gained notoriety in the 1960s, was a co-founder of the Space Age movement.
Rabanne, who was born in 1934 close to San Sebastián, Spain, fled the Spanish Civil War at an early age and settled in France. Before entering the fashion industry at the age of 30, he continued his education by enrolling in the École Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris. Twelve Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials, his debut exhibition from 1966, featured his now-famous works composed of metal and plastic. Calandre, the designer’s debut perfume, was released in 1969, and fragrance immediately became a very lucrative area of his business.
Rabanne retired in 1999 after a three-decade career and has generally avoided the spotlight ever since. For his contributions to the fashion industry, he was named an Officer of the Legion d’Honneur in France in 2010. In 2006, the company took a five-year break after his departure. In 2011, Manish Arora took the helm and brought it back to life. Julien Dossena, the current creative director of the fashion business, was chosen in 2013 to carry on Rabanne’s tradition.