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This past October, as a first step in what will soon unfold into a full-scale relaunch, Paco Rabanne showed the fashion house's first collection of accessories since the label shuttered in 2006. "We want to come to market with quality initiatives," Vincent Thilloy, Rabanne's VP, told WWD at the time. "The level of awareness for the brand is huge, there are big expectations." To that end, the brand will unroll in 2011 with the re-release of its iconic 1969 handbag—recreated in consultation with Comme des Garcons' Rei Kawakubo and set to debut at Kawakubo's Dover Street Market in London this January.
But what news of the relaunch of Paco Rabanne ready-to-wear?
Well-placed sources tell Racked that Paco Rabanne has tapped designer Manish Arora as creative lead on the brand's RTW revival.
An iconic Paco Rabanne dress, image via Estoril Fashion Art Festival
Manish Arora is a leading luxury designer from India who launched his eponymous label in 1997. Arora has been showing at India Fashion Week since 2000 and has also shown at London Fashion Week, Barcelona Fashion Week, and Paris Fashion Week. He has collaborated with companies including Reebok, MAC, Swatch, Nivea, Absolut, and Pommery Champagne. His work has been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and celebrities including Katy Perry, M.I.A., Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna have been photographed wearing Manish Arora on the red carpet.
Arora's aesthetic draws heavily on his Indian heritage. "Every designer has a thought process behind their collection, if one wants to call it intellectualism they can," Arora told Isterografo Cyprus last year. "My culture and roots play a very important factor [in] my collection but without the European mix it would be incomplete. Indian culture has always been very easy with mixing and lending itself to other cultures so it would take a lot for me to offend it."
Legendary 1960s fashion house Paco Rabanne was best known for its innovative approach to materials and construction. Rabanne famously costumed Barbarella and created glittering gold and silver dresses from linked metal plates and chain mail.
Arora's appointment to Paco Rabanne is still unconfirmed by both camps, as neither has yet responded to requests for comment. This is not the first attempt to revive the defunct fashion house. The last designer to hold the post of creative director before Paco Rabanne's 2006 closure was Patrick Robinson, who is now the VP of Global Design at the Gap.
· Interview: Manish Arora talks to Filep Motwary [Un Nouveau Ideal]
· Paco Rabanne to relaunch handbags [WWD]
· Paco Rabanne to relaunch its ready-to-wear [CPP Luxury]