revolutionary designer paco rabanne dies


On February 3rd, 2023, the beloved fashion designer Paco Rabanne passed away at the age of 88 in his home in France. He was born Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo in the Basque town of Pasajes, Spain in 1934. As said by Puig, the parent company of his brands who had confirmed his death, he had ‘marked generations with his radical vision of fashion and his legacy will live on.’


Rabanne, who began his Paris fashion house in 1966, gained both adoration and criticism for his rebellious and eccentric ideas. He was known to introduce unconventional materials to his radical pieces, like the plastic-chain mail dresses of the sixties and the metal-plated gowns of the seventies.

paco rabanne diesFrancois Hardy | image courtesy House of Paco Rabanne



The House of Paco Rabanne wishes to honour our visionary designer and founder who passed away today at the age of 88,’ announces his team in a statement. ‘Among the most seminal fashion figures of the 20th century, his legacy will remain a constant source of inspiration. We are grateful to Monsieur Rabanne for establishing our avant-garde heritage and defining a future of limitless possibilities.’

paco rabanne dies
Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg | image courtesy House of Paco Rabanne



His work shows clear influence from his architectural background and his ‘space age’ generation. During the mid-fifties he studied architecture at l’École Nationale des Beaux-Arts before taking on a job at Auguste Perret, the foremost manufacturer of reinforced concrete in France where he worked for ten years. During these early years, he earned money creating fashion sketches for Dior and Givenchy.paco rabanne, radical fashion designer of the space-age, dies at 88
Edie Campbell photographed by Alasdair McLellan, Fall/Winter 20 collection
image courtesy House of Paco Rabanne



By the 1960s, Rabanne was creating jewelry for top fashion houses including Dior, Givenchy, and Balenciaga where his mother worked as chief seamstress. With experience in physical material manipulation and meticulous detailing, it follows that his early works in the fashion world saw intricate assemblies of chain-mail and sequins. These daring metallic minis were worn by Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, and Jane Fonda — most notably in the 1968 cult science fiction film Barbarella for which he was costume designer.


Rabanne will be remembered for his playful and radical creations, which challenged the boundaries of fashion during a revolutionary time and brought the spirit of the space age to the catwalk.

paco rabanne, radical fashion designer of the space-age, dies at 88the pre-fall 2019 collection showcases the unique technique of interconnected mirrored pastilles

image courtesy House of Paco Rabanne