Paco Rabanne

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Paco Rabanne
French couturie Paco Rabanne visited Kyiv in 2006.jpg
Rabanne in Kyiv, 2006
Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo

(1934-02-18) 18 February 1934 (age 87)
Pasajes, Guipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain
OccupationFashion designer

Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo (born 18 February 1934), more commonly known under the pseudonym of Paco Rabanne (French: [pako ʁaban]; Spanish: [ˈpako raˈβan]), is a Spanish[1] fashion designer of Basque origin who became known as an enfant terrible of the 1960s French fashion world.

Early life and education[edit]

Rabanne was born 18 February 1934 in the Basque town of Pasajes, Gipuzkoa province. His father, a Republican Colonel, was executed by Francoist troops during the Spanish Civil War. Rabanne's mother was chief seamstress at Cristóbal Balenciaga's first couture house in Donostia, Basque Country, and moved Rabanne's family when he opened Balenciaga at Paris in 1937, due to the Spanish Civil War. In mid-1950s Paris, while studying architecture at l'École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Rabanne earned money making fashion sketches for Dior and Givenchy, and shoe sketches for Charles Jourdan, nevertheless he subsequently took a job with France's foremost developer of reinforced concrete, Auguste Perret, working there for over ten years.[2]



Rabanne's 1 Million eau de toilette spray
Paco Rabanne metal and plastic dress, 1967

He started his career in fashion by creating jewelry for Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga and founded his own fashion house in 1966.[3] He used unconventional material such as metal, paper, and plastic for his metal couture and outlandish and flamboyant designs.[4]

For the debut of his namesake brand in 1966, he presented "Manifesto: 12 unwearable dresses in contemporary materials".[1]

Rabanne is known for the green costume worn by Jane Fonda in the 1968 science-fiction film Barbarella. Françoise Hardy was a big fan of Rabanne's designs.[5] For fr:Tour 1996 and the resulting Live à Bercy, singer Mylène Farmer had Rabanne do her live-concert stage costumes.[6][7][8][9]


In 1968, he began collaborating with fragrance[10] company Puig, which resulted in the company marketing Rabanne's perfumes.[11] In 1976, the company built a perfume factory in Chartres, France.[12] 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 advertising and a strong local awareness. The court reasoned that because the Puig's local distributor was smuggling perfume into Brazil, the company could not show proof of payment of import duties. It took six or seven years to recover his brand name in Brazil.[13]


Paco Rabanne is famous for his eccentric statements on television.

He claims he has lived several lives (including that of a prostitute in the time of Louis XV), to have known Jesus in a previous life, to have seen God three times, to have been visited by extraterrestrials, to have murdered Tutankhamun[14] and to be 75 000 years old[15]..

In 1999, he announced that, at the age of seventeen, he had had visions of Parisians in flames throwing themselves into the Seine and that after studying other concordant prophecies, he came to the conclusion that the Mir space station was going to crash in France at the time of the solar eclipse of August 11, 1999, its debris causing thousands of deaths in Paris and in the Gers region.[16] On 10 May 1999, he publicly undertakes not to make any more predictions if Mir does not crash into Paris on 11 August 1999.[17] However, he claims to have had an apparition of the Virgin Mary telling him to continue the predictions.[18]

Despite the failure of this latest coup, which tarnished his reputation among the public and the media, he continues to appear regularly in a specialized press, dealing more with the subject of his so-called paranormal experiences than that of the high fashion.

Other interests[edit]

In 1994, Rabanne wrote the book, Has the Countdown Begun? Through Darkness to Enlightenment.[19]

In 2005, Rabanne opened in Moscow, Russia, 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 Dalí 30 years ago who told me to keep going." One of the black-and-white sketches depicts a child letting go of a dove and a white balloon into the sky, which he said was inspired by the commemoration ceremony for the 2004 Beslan attack in Beslan, North Ossetia, 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.[20]

In 2006, Rabanne visited Kyiv, Ukraine. He summed up the changes since the Orange Revolution: "Ukraine reminds me of a flower unfolding its petals before my very eyes."[21]

A re-edit of his classic "le 69" bag was relaunched by Comme des Garçons.[22][23]


  1. ^ a b "storypacorabanne | Paco Rabanne". 27 April 2020. Archived from the original on 27 April 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Paco Rabanne Fashion History". Heroine. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Paco Rabanne: Retro Futurist Fashion". escamastudio. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  4. ^ "MFIT- Love and War- Paco Rabanne". 3 September 2006. Archived from the original on 3 September 2006. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Paco Rabanne, with Francoise Hardy, Salvador Dali and Amanda Lear in Paco Rabanne, In France, On May 19, 1968". Getty Images. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Les différents costumes du Tour 96 créés par Paco Rabanne". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Interview de Paco Rabanne en 1997". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  8. ^ Woolnough, Damien. "Paco Rabanne's third reinvention: Julien Dossena". ELLE. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  9. ^ Lacroix, Marion Raynaud (3 October 2018). "tout ce que la mode doit à mylène farmer". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Paco Rabanne Pour Homme EAU de Toilette | Paco Rabanne".
  11. ^ La Vanguardia, 9 October 2011, Supplement Diners, page 14
  12. ^ "To be multinational in Spain costs a lot, because the domestic market is too small". La Vanguardia. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  13. ^ Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
  14. ^ Archive INA Interview Paco Rabane on French tv
  15. ^ french radio show Le Libre Journal de Serge de Beketch, broadcast on Radio Courtoisie on Nov 10th 1993 ([1]).
  16. ^ La Dépêche 28/05/1999 Les prédictions de Paco Rabane fort mal perçues dans le Gers
  17. ^ INA : interview Paco Rabanne 10 of may 1999
  18. ^ Archive INA Interview Paco Rabane
  19. ^ Has the Countdown Begun?: Through Darkness to Enlightenment (Reprint ed.). London: Souvenir Press Ltd. 12 May 1994. ISBN 9780285631908.
  20. ^ "French Designer Paco Rabanne Shows Drawings in Moscow". ARTINFO. 5 October 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  21. ^ Olena Holub (2006). French couturiers travel to Ukraine in search of inspiration.
  22. ^ "Paco Rabanne for DSM Ladies' Bag". Dover Street Market. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  23. ^ "The Big Revamp". British Vogue. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2020.

External links[edit]