Paco Rabanne

Francisco "Paco" Rabaneda Cuervo, more commonly known as Paco Rabanne (born 18 February 1934) is a Spanish fashion designer. He fled Spain for France with his mother when the Spanish Civil War broke out. He originally had an architect's education but became known as l'enfant terrible of the French fashion world in the 1960s.

Biography

Student modeling a Paco Rabanne shirt at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City.

He was born 18 February 1934. Rabanne started his career in fashion by creating jewelry for Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga. He started his own fashion house in 1966. He used such unconventional materials as metal, paper, and plastic for his outlandish and flamboyant designs.

In 1968, he began the collaboration with Puig company, and as a result of it perfumes of Paco Rabanne began to be marketed. In 1976, the company built a perfume factory in Chartres, France. In the 1980s, in Brazil, his men's perfume brand registration was forfeited due to a court judgement that the brand was never officially present in Brazil despite heavy advertisement and a strong local awareness. The court's reason was the company could not show proof of payment of import duties because the company's local distibutor was smuggling the perfume into Brazil. It took six or seven year to recover his brand name in Brazil.

Rabanne has given others the opportunity to begin their fashion careers as well. Houston based designer David Peck worked for Rabanne in Paris before launching his eponymous collection.

Paco Rabanne is known for his costume designs for such films as Barbarella. Also, Françoise Hardy was a big fan of Rabanne's designs. The popular French singer Mylène Farmer continues to bring the extravagance of Paco Rabanne to her live concerts.

Rabanne also has an interest in paranormal phenomena. He became infamous for his false prediction of the Russian space station Mir falling on Paris in 1999.

In 2005, Rabanne opened in Moscow the first exhibition of his drawings. His reasoning for showing the drawings then was, "I am 72 years old and I wanted to present my drawings this year before disappearing from this planet. I have not shown them to anyone except Salvador DalĂ­ 30 years ago who told me to keep going." One of the black and white sketches depicts a child letting go of a white balloon and a dove into the sky. The scene was inspired by the commemoration ceremony for the Beslan attack, in which 319 hostages were killed, including 186 children, 12 servicemen, and 31 hostage-takers. Rabanne wanted the money that the drawing sold for to go to the women of Beslan.

In 2006, Rabanne also visited Kiev with great interest. He summed up the changes he has seen aftermath of the Orange Revolution: "Ukraine reminds me of a flower unfolding its petals before my very eyes."
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