Paco Rabanne was born on February 18, 1934 in the heart of Spanish Basque country in San Sebastian. As a child, he and his family endured war-time bombs in Spain before taking exile in France due to their political affiliation. Before the move to France, his mother worked as the chief seamstress for Balenciaga. In 1952, he studied architecture at the Beaux-Arts school in Paris, and produced acessories for the couturiers of that time. Courreges, Cardin, Balenciaga, and Givenchy encouraged him and supported his work by purchasing his sketches, and he had his first show in 1966. Rabanne created disposable clothing—paper dresses—that were sold in envelopes. A year later, he was one of the first to present “molded,” form-fitting clothing. Gerard Pipart of Nina Ricci provided him with styles to embroider. He created a women’s ready-to-wear line in 1990 that complemented his haute couture creations. Using innovative materials and striving for clean, simplistic lines, his collection was thoroughly modern.
"Trajectoire", his first book and the second biography of the fashion designer, was released in 1991, followed by two others. In 1999, He decided to stop working on haute-couture and devote his time to ready-to-wear and accessories, which he felt was more in keeping with the new millennium. In 2005, Patrick Robinson became Artistic Director for the Paco Rabanne brand, which is currently being refocused and newly positioned, and will no doubt include fragrance in its renovation.
He presented his first fragrance, Calandre, in 1969. Meant for an active woman, it’s a cypress-heavy perfume that was considered revolutionary for its time. In 1973, he introduced his first men’s fragrance, Paco Rabanne pour homme, which was the first aromatic scent on the market. XS Pour Elle was introduced much later in 1995 as a soft floral, followed by his first unisex fragrance, Paco, in 1996, which was presented in a recyclable metal bottle. Two years later, Paco Energy was created, and a year later, Ultraviolet perfume for women made its debut. The men’s version of Ultraviolet cologne rolled out in 2001. Other noted Paco Rabanne fragrances include Eau De Paco Rabanne Cologne, La Nuit Perfume for Women, Liquid Crystal Perfume, Liquid Metal Cologne, Metal Perfume, Paco Energy Body Lotion, Paco Energy Cologne, Paco Pour Elle, Paco Rabanne Sport, Paco Unisex, and Xs Extreme Girl.
His penchant for the unique and dramatic, combined with a prolific output in the realm of fragrance, rendered his brand a mainstay for many decades.
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