Paco Rabanne or as his mother referred to him, Francisco "Paco" Rabaneda Cuervo. He was born in 1934 but it was not until the the 1960's that the Basque fashion designer became synonymous as the unruly child of the fashion industry,
How it all started...
It all started at Givenchy, Dior and Balenciaga, and no before you think he was running between all the houses, he was independently creating jewellery for all of them. Then in 1966 he pulled himself away to start what we know as Paco Rabanne.
His work was flamboyant and avant-garde, he turned heads with his work with unconventional material such as metal and plastics for his infamous Metal Couture clothing, His shown was aptly named “Twelve Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials."
A New York Times article referred to his approach, Paco’s Sewing Kit: Pliers and Wires,” whilst Coco Chanel took another standpoint, proclaiming him to be a mettalurgist - (A material scientist specialising in metals).
Whilst Paco was always designing for the future, he seemed to be determined to let everyone know about his past life. " I traveled to Earth from the planet Altair, to organise civilisation on this planet 78,000 years ago," - You cannot knock his creativity yet these outlandish statement caused the nickname Wacko Paco to stick.
His out-of-space state came to life as the 1969 Sci-fi film Barbarella saw Jane Fonda clad in green a costume known as the Rabanne. He merged space art and fashion, and the world went crazy. Peggy Guggenheim was an initial customer of his and Brigitte Bardot sported Rabanne in the music video “Contact” (written by Serge Gainsbourg)
Paco Rabanne Beauty
Around the same period he began collaborating with fragrance company Puig, and still does to this day to create his house perfumes. Across fashion and fragrances, Puig operates under the Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera, and Paco Rabanne brands. In the fashion industry, it is also the majority shareholder of Jean Paul Gaultier.
Paco Rabanne is currently under the direction of designer Julien Dossena at the time of writing.