Giorgio Armani has said Paco Rabanne dying at the age of 88 marks the death of “another radical creator” recently lost by the fashion world.
The Italian fashion designer, 88, paid tribute to Rabanne, who he used to go head to head with on perfume sales, saying he was a “true futurist”.
In a statement on his company’s Twitter account, Armani wrote: “Fashion continues to lose radical creators, capable of inventing worlds and perspectives from scratch.
“Paco Rabanne was a true futurist (and) an experimentalist (who) always projected towards the future, always looking to tomorrow.”
The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode pays tribute to Paco Rabanne who died on February 3rd, 2023 at the age of 88: https://t.co/w58aQdrlkp⁰Picture credit: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy #pacorabbane pic.twitter.com/2zujtKQCCO
— Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (@FHCM) February 3, 2023
Rabanne’s death follows that of Dame Vivienne Westwood, known as the Godmother of Punk, who died in December aged 81, and Japanese fashion designer Hanae Mori, 96, and French fashion designer Thierry Mugler, 73, who both died in January last year.
While recalling the effect that Rabanne’s Barbarella green costume – worn by Jane Fonda as the titular space-traveller in the 1968 science fiction film – had on him, Armani also wrote the fashion designer had “unmistakable talent”.
He added that it was “sad” to have a “visionary leave us”.
Rabanne’s fashion house had commercial success with his range of perfumes, and his debut fragrance Calandre, first launched in 1969, which continues today.
The first fragrance release by Armani was Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills in the 1980s, a perfume that is being sold nowadays.
In other tributes, Julien Dossena, who took over from Rabanne as the head of his fashion house, paid tribute on Instagram by “thanking” him for being a fashion designer who defined “modernity” and the “cultural revolution”.
He also wrote he was “a total artist” who used his expression of “his own personal utopia” to evolve the world’s view.
Canadian model Stacey McKenzie wrote on Instagram: “One of the nicest humbled designer I was fortunate to meet, hang out and modeled (sp) for.
“Thank you for being you Paco Rabanne, you will be missed dearly.”
The TV personality, who has judged Canada’s Next Top Model and Canada’s Drag Race, has also modelled for Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Bruno Pavlovsky, president of the Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion – who run Paris Fashion Week, said in a statement: “Paco Rabanne was a major fashion designer who never stopped exploring traditional know-how and new techniques with audacity and eccentricity.
“A couturier who broke new ground in fashion since his first show in Paris.”
The executive president of the organisation, Pascal Morand, also said: “An emblematic figure of fashion, passionate about innovation through the use of materials, Paco Rabanne was an emancipator whose creative freedom has deeply marked French and international fashion.”
Rabanne, whose real name was Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo, founded the renowned fashion house named after him in 1966 and was announced to have died on Friday by his company’s official Instagram account.