Paco Rabanne, one of the most important stylists of the 20th century, has died. He was 88 years old. Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo, this is his name, was born in 1934 in Pasaia, a town in the Basque Country, but as a child he left the country, where the Civil War had broken out in which his father, a soldier, had died to take refuge with his mother in France . There he would grow up and as a boy he would begin his studies in architecture and then choose the path of fashion, learned from his mother, première in the atelier of Cristobal Balenciaga, and in turn become one of the most influential couturiers of the twentieth century, thanks to his vision irreverent that characterized the fashion of the sixties and seventies.
To finance his studies, he sold his sketches, and in 1959, under the pseudonym Franck Rabanne, he designed seven models which were published in the specialized magazine WWD. His first steps in famous ateliers were taken in those of Nina Ricci and Balenciaga, but it was only in 1966 that he presented his first collection in Paris, called “Manifeste” and with futuristic creations also made of roidoid, a plastic and transparent material that will one of its most iconic elements, but also aluminum and other metals. His clothes were not sewn, but assembled with pliers and rings, so much so that Coco Chanel, scandalized, would have called him “the metalworker of fashion”.
Rabanne also designed costumes for the cinema, such as the one worn by Audrey Hepburn in “Two for the Road” and by Jane Fonda in 1968 in “Barbarella”, and from 1973 he also launched a rich collection of perfumes.
In 1999 Paco Rabanne retired, and in 2010 he was proclaimed Officer of the Legion of Honor by the French Ministry of Culture. The maison is owned by the Spanish group Puig, which in 2013 appointed Julien Dossena as its new creative director.