Fernando Sánchez

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Fernando Sánchez (9 August 1935 - 28 June 2006) was a Spanish fashion designer. He was known for his provocative lingerie collections, which, though designed for elegant boudoirs, were often worn in public.[1] Sanchez was awarded several Coty fashion awards, as well as a Council of Fashion Designers of America Award in 1981.[1]


Sanchez was born into a wealthy family in Antwerp, Belgium.[1] His father died when he was very young.[1] When Sanchez was in his teens, he would go with his mother to Paris to see Jacques Fath's designs.[1] Later, he sent a portfolio to Fath, who recommended him to the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, a fashion school in Paris.[1] There, he ended up a classmate of Yves Saint Laurent.[1] While St. Laurent would later revolutionize how women dressed during the day, Sanchez would revolutionize how women dressed at night.[1]

In 1960, inspired by the movie West Side Story, he moved to New York City fifteen days after watching it.[2] Sanchez started his own company in 1974,[citation needed] where he introduced techniques normally used in dress construction to slips and caftans, making underwear resemble outerwear.[1] He did not deem his work to be merely lingerie, and it was not treated as such by the fashion world.[1] His fashion shows were as highly attended as those of more conventional designers.[1] His work foreshadowed the mainstream acceptance of lingerie-like clothing in the 1990s.[1]

Sanchez later worked for Nina Ricci, Christian Dior (where St. Laurent hired him to design lingerie), the New York lingerie company Warner's, and Yalla Inc.[1]

He died on 28 June 2006 from cardiac arrest arising from complications of leishmaniasis, a disease transmitted by sand fly bites.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Wilson, Eric. "Fernando Sanchez, 70, Designer of Lingerie as Outerwear." New York Times (July 3, 2006).
  2. ^ Wendy Goodman, "Scenes From a Classic Fourteen", New York, Nov. 15, 2004