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French fashion designer Andre Courreges shot to fame in the mid-1960s with his iconic space-age designs and geometrical shapes. Born March 9, 1923, in the French Basque country, the couturier studied civil engineering and grew up with an interest in architecture and textiles.
Courreges served as a pilot in the French air force during World War II. After the war, he worked for Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga before setting up his own salon, the Maison de Courreges, in Paris in 1961. Strongly influenced by Russian constructivism, Courreges' early designs focused on stitching and welted seams. He progressed to experimenting with synthetic fibers; by the mid-1960s his fashion collection featured angular mini-dresses and trouser suits worn with low-heeled go-go boots and space-age metallic accessories.
Courreges launched his first perfume, Empreinte, in 1970. He followed it in 1972 with FH77, the company's first fragrance for men. In 2015, the company collaborated with Air France to create La Fille de l'Air.
In 1979, Courreges launched a licensing system that allowed the Japanese company Itokin to acquire a majority share of his company. In 1986 he lost the Haute Couture label after failing to show a collection in 1985. He regained control of the company in 1993 and retired three years later, leaving his wife, Coqueline, in charge until 2011, when they sold the company to Frederic Torloting and Jacques Bungert. Andre Courreges died January 7, 2016.