Paco Rabanne mourned by beauty world: ‘Who else could imagine a fragrance called Calandre – the word means automobile grill?’

By Julia Wray | Published: 3-Feb-2023

The name behind the Calandre and 1 Million fragrances has passed away aged 88

Paco Rabanne, the Spanish fashion designer, well-known for his fragrances Calandre and 1 Million, has died at the age of 88.

Rabanne, born Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo, is said to have passed away at his home in France.

He founded his eponymous fashion brand in 1966 and gained fame for his eccentric clothing designs using unconventional materials like metal, paper and plastic.

Rabanne had a longstanding fragrance collaboration with Puig.

Marc Puig, the company's Chairman and CEO, said he was “deeply saddened” by the designer’s passing.

“The history of Puig and Paco Rabanne began in the late 1960s with the launch of Calandre, the perfume created soon after the designer released ‘12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials’,” he added.

“A major personality in fashion, his was a daring, revolutionary and provocative vision, conveyed through a unique aesthetic.”

In 1987, Puig acquired the entire Paco Rabanne business, bringing fashion and accessories under the same roof as fragrance.

The aughts saw Paco Rabanne’s fragrances become synonymous with playful packaging design and marketing following the launch of its mega-hit scent 1 Million and follow-ups Lady Million, Invictus, Olympéa and Phantom.

Its newest feminine fragrance, Fame, which launched last year, continued Rabanne’s legacy, with a pack inspired by his iconic designs, such as the mini dress made from gold plates inlaid with diamonds, famously worn by 60s icon Françoise Hardy.

According to Marc Puig, Rabanne “will remain an important source of inspiration for the Puig fashion and fragrance teams, who continuously work together to express Mr Paco Rabanne’s radically modern codes”.

“Paco Rabanne made transgression magnetic,” added Jose Manuel Albesa, President of the Beauty and Fashion division at Puig.

“Who else could induce fashionable Parisian women to clamour for dresses made of plastic and metal?

“Who but Paco Rabanne could imagine a fragrance called Calandre – the word means ‘automobile grill,’ you know – and turn it into an icon of modern femininity?

“That radical, rebellious spirit set him apart: there is only one Rabanne.

“With his passing we are reminded once again of his enormous influence on contemporary fashion, a spirit that lives on in the house that bears his name.”

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