Paco Rabanne was one of the world's most renowned, True Fashionista fashion designers, and with good reason. From his quirky designs to his eye-catching materials, he created a unique look that transcends trends and continues to inspire generations of style-conscious individuals. Paco Rabanne was the first designer to combine fashion, craftsmanship, and futuristic technology in his creations. Many creations by fashion houses influenced by Rabanne can be found at True Fashionistas consignment store Naples. With the passing of Mr. Rabanne in February 2023, we’re taking a look at his influential career.


Rabanne was born Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo on February 18, 1934, in San Sebastian, Spain, the son of a Spanish Civil War officer and seamstress mother who happened to work for none other than Cristóbal Balenciaga. After his father was executed as a prisoner of war, he and his mother moved to France. In his late teens, Rabanne attended the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris, studying architecture while designing jewelry and buttons on the side. "Most couturiers gave me the boot," he shared with Vogue in 2017. However, Elsa Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, and Hubert de Givenchy number among those who recognized his skill.


Soon after graduating, Rabanne established his first label and began creating increasingly imaginative garments, experimenting with unconventional materials such as metal discs, plastic fragments, wood chips, chain mail, paper clips, and even aluminum foil. His breakout show at the George V in 1966 broke boundaries all over the place.

Rabanne debuted his first True Fashionista couture collection at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, heralding a new era in fashion. Soon after, Rabanne created dresses adorned with metal plates, tiles, and chains. Paco Rabanne quickly gained worldwide recognition and admiration for his innovative designs. "Manifesto: 12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials" not only featured his first plastic dress, but he was also the first designer to use music as well as include models of color in his show. Look no further than Jane Fonda's iconic green dress in the classic 1968 science fiction fantasy film "Barbarella" as a quick reference to his work. Heralded art collector Peggy Guggenheim (niece of yes, that museum's founder) was also one of Rabanne's first customers, and singer Brigitte Bardot exhibited his style in the music video for her song "Contact."

His innovative approach earned him international recognition as well as being awarded the prestigious André Courreges prize in 1967 and the Gold Thimble award in 1970.


Rabanne's passion for clothes easily translated into an interest in True Fashionista fragrance. He was at the forefront of applying technology to perfume making when he created Calandre in 1969. This modern, feminine fragrance combined cutting-edge technology with high craftsmanship to create an absolutely revolutionary product. Influenced by a range of personal experiences and artistic inspirations, Paco Rabanne pushed the boundaries of fashion and fragrance with each new launch.

He continued to expand his portfolio with fragrances such as XS Pour Elle in 1993 and Métal in 1979, a fragrance "for young women who adore metal accessories." His creations adopted new ideas about what fragrances should be and attracted a wave of fans from all over the world. The popularity of Paco Rabanne fragrances continues to skyrocket today as the brand releases innovative formulas that bring back a sense of fun and modernity to fragrance-making. Discover your fave Paco Rabanne fragrance to match the perfect outfit from True Fashionistas, the best designer consignment store.


In addition to turning fragrance-making on its head, Paco Rabanne also continued to push the envelope when it came to fashion design. He was an early adopter of new trends such as asymmetrical shapes, peplums, and oversized cuts that became the standard later on. Paco's True Fashionista yet unconventional designs have been seen on stars such as Lady Gaga, Julia Roberts, and Monica Bellucci. Such diverse inspiration contributes to the brand's modernity while staying true to its unique vision of design.


Rabanne's passion for innovation also serves as a guideline for other brands. He was one of the pioneers who paved the way for organic perfumes with his 1976 launch of Calandre mineral water-based scent. In 2018, he even experimented with 3D printing to create the designs for his summer collection, Future Fantasy Couture. Rabanne took calculated risks with each creative project; his successes opened doors not only in fashion and fragrance but also design, film, and art as well.

Paco Rabanne's fragrances can be found all around the world today thanks to increased recognition for his revolutionary products and valuable partnerships with distributors, including LookFantastic and Sephora. He managed to stay relevant throughout the years thanks to a combination of ingenuity and imagination that allowed him to continuously stand out from his peers.


Rabanne's designs were often inspired by his interests in science fiction, technology, and the future, apparent no more than in his eccentricities. He gained notoriety for making peculiar public statements such as claiming he had lived several lives (including that of a prostitute in the time of Louis XV), to have known Jesus in a previous life, to have seen God three times, to have been visited by extraterrestrials, to have murdered Tutankhamun, and to be 75,000 years old.

In 1999, he announced that, at the age of seventeen, he had had visions of Parisians in flames throwing themselves into the Seine, then following a study of other concordant prophecies, he came to the conclusion that the Mir space station was going to crash in France on August 11, 1999, during the solar eclipse, its debris causing thousands of deaths in Paris and in the Gers region. On May 10, 1999, he publicly vowed not to make any more predictions if Mir did not crash into Paris. However, he claimed to have had an apparition of the Virgin Mary telling him to continue the predictions. These somewhat bizarre public claims earned him the nickname "Wacko Paco."


Throughout his career, Rabanne won many awards and accolades, including the Legion of Honour distinction from the French government in 1988. He continued to design until his retirement in 1999, and his legacy lives on today. Rabanne's innovative designs continue to inspire and influence fashion designers around the world today, and his fragrances are still as popular as ever.

See how Rabanne's ideas have influenced other designers by browsing the collection at True Fashionistas, Florida's largest lifestyle consignment store. Shop, sell and consign in-store or 24/7 online, and sign up for our email list for additional exclusive discounts on hot merchandise!