Paco Rabanne Cause of Death: The Legacy of a Fashion Icon

Paco Rabanne, the celebrated perfume and fashion designer, has died at the age of 88 at his home in France. His death was confirmed by Puig, the parent company of his brands, which said he had “marked generations with his radical vision of fashion and his legacy will live on”. But what was his cause of death and how did he become one of the most influential figures in the industry?

A Life of Innovation and Provocation

Paco Rabanne was born as Francisco Rabaneda y Cuervo in Spain’s Basque region, near the city of San Sebastian. His father was a colonel in the Republican military, who was executed by Gen Francisco Franco’s nationalist forces in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War. His mother – who had worked as a seamstress for the designer Cristobal Balenciaga – moved the family to Paris in 1939 after the Nationalist forces seized Madrid and won the war.

After growing up in the French capital, Rabanne became an architecture student at l’École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, where he earned money drawing fashion sketches. After a short period working in the construction industry with a concrete manufacturer, he launched his fashion career designing jewellery for Givenchy, Dior and Balenciaga.

Then in 1966, he launched his own eponymous fashion house – Paco Rabanne – which saw him attain international acclaim. His designs attracted both praise and controversy, and his debut collection, entitled 12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials, enraged the French fashion press after models were decked out in sharp metals and other unlikely materials.

“I have always had the impression of being a time accelerator,” he said of his designs in 2016. “Of going as far as is reasonable for one’s time and not indulge in the morbid pleasure of the known things, which I view as decay.”

He was also known for his futuristic and sci-fi-inspired creations, such as the iconic metallic dress worn by Jane Fonda in the 1968 film Barbarella. He also designed costumes for other films, such as Casino Royale (1967), Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967) and The Conformist (1970).

A Fragrance Empire

In 1968, he signed a deal with the Catalonia-based Puig family, who were heavyweights in the fashion and fragrance industry. The deal marked his entrance into the perfume industry, which would eventually become synonymous with his name.

His debut fragrance, Calandre, is still available today, while Lady Million – known for its colourful gold bottles – maintains its grip over the market. His innovations extended to every aspect of his business. He was one of the first fragrance designers to launch one of his products online in the mid-1990s.

He also created fragrances for men, such as Paco Rabanne Pour Homme (1973), XS (1993) and One Million (2008). His scents were often described as bold, sensual and distinctive.

A Visionary with a Mystical Side

But Rabanne was not only interested in fashion and fragrance. He was also fascinated by astrology and the occult. He claimed to have had multiple lives, to have been some 78,000 years old, to have seen God and been visited by aliens.

He also made several predictions about the future, some of which were eerily accurate, such as the fall of communism and the rise of terrorism. However, he also made some false or unfulfilled prophecies, such as the end of the world in 1999 or the destruction of Paris by a space station in 1999.

He also wrote several books on these topics, such as Trajectoire (1985), L’An 2000 (1987) and Le Temps Present (1993). He said he was inspired by his dreams and visions, which he believed were messages from a higher power.

A Legacy that Lives On

Rabanne retired from fashion in 1999, but Puig revived his house in 2011 with a new creative director, Julien Dossena. Dossena has continued to honour Rabanne’s legacy by incorporating his signature materials and shapes into modern collections that appeal to a new generation of customers.

Rabanne’s death has been met with an outpouring of tributes from fans, celebrities and fellow designers. Puig’s fashion president, José Manuel Albesa, hailed Rabanne’s work, which he said “made transgression magnetic”.

“Who else could induce fashionable Parisian women to clamour for dresses made of plastic and metal,” Mr Albesa said. “That radical, rebellious spirit set him apart: There is only one Rabanne.”

Marc Puig, chairman and chief executive officer of Puig, called Rabanne a “major personality in fashion” and paid tribute to his “daring, revolutionary and provocative vision, conveyed through a unique aesthetic”.

“He will remain an important source of inspiration for the Puig fashion and fragrance teams, who continuously work together to express Mr. Paco Rabanne’s radically modern codes,” he said.

Rabanne’s cause of death has not been disclosed by his family or his company. However, his legacy will live on through his iconic creations and his visionary spirit. He was a man who challenged the norms and pushed the boundaries of fashion and fragrance, leaving behind a lasting impression on the world.

Doms Desk

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