Today, at www.pacorabanne.com, visitors were greeted with this sad news:
“The House of Paco Rabanne wishes to honour our visionary designer and founder who passed away today at the age of 88. Among the most seminal fashion figures of the 20th century, his legacy will remain a constant source of inspiration. We are grateful to Monsieur Rabanne for establishing our avant-garde heritage and defining a future of limitless possibilities.”
The news hit the airwaves early morning, with AP reporting it and the New York Times publishing an obituary right after. It was on the mainstream news but not “above the fold” yet to fashionistas, it was a devastating news report.
I had the privilege of meeting Paco Rabanne sometime during the noughties. He has been retired for several years but he still attended the show for his eponymous fashion house during Paris Prêt-à-Porter. It was an accidental meeting backstage. I was there for a beauty story, yet I found myself face to face with the legendary designer.
It was a fan girl moment for me. I was not ready to do an interview. I don’t have any notes or did any research about him beforehand. The journalist in me took over and I asked the proper questions. I don’t remember what the questions were nor what were his answers. All I remember is the glint in his eyes when he was talking about fashion. There was so much passion in his speech.
It was over in a minute. He had to move and I had to go see the person whom I really needed to interview. But that moment stayed with me. So, when I read on the news that he had passed, I felt so much sadness. I spent only a minute with him yet it was monumental for me.
Thank you Paco Rabanne for ushering the fashion world into the space age, for making us see that clothing can be created from unconventional materials. You might be gone but your influence in fashion will live forever.