Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne dies aged 88

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The Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne, best known for his space-age metal dresses, eccentric pronouncements and a signature range of fragrances, has died at the age of 88.

His death was announced on Friday in a statement by the Puig group, which owns the Paco Rabanne brand.

“I am profoundly saddened by the death of Paco Rabanne,” the group’s chief executive, Marc Puig, said in a statement. “Through his great personality, he transmitted a unique aesthetic and a daring, revolutionary and provocative vision of the world of fashion.”

The house of Paco Rabanne paid its own tribute to the man it described as a “visionary designer and founder”, saying: “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.”

Rabanne, born Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo in the Basque Country in February 1934, was the son of a Republican soldier father and a mother who was a seamstress for Cristóbal Balenciaga.

He went on to become one of the most famous fashion names of the 1960s thanks to his futuristic and idiosyncratic dress. Towards the end of that decade, he teamed up with Puig to develop the perfumes for which he later became well known.

At the end of the last century, Rabanne predicted that the Mir space station would plummet to Earth and devastate Paris. He also claimed to have arrived on this planet 78,000 years ago, leading some to nickname him “Wacko Paco”.

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