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Claude Montana: The Farewell of the Pope of 80s Fashion

The designer Claude Montana, who passed away last February 23rd, in a sewing workshop

Claude Montana, renowned French fashion designer, passed away on February 23rd at the age of 76. Known for his revolutionary creations that marked the 1980s, Montana leaves behind an indelible memory in fashion.

Born in Paris in 1947, he quickly developed a passion for couture, drawing inspiration from the universe of the Opéra Garnier from a young age. His first steps in fashion were made in England, where his papier-mâché jewelry creations caught the attention of Vogue magazine. Back in Paris, he specialized in working with leather, a material that would become his signature.

The Montana brand, launched in 1979, quickly became successful, notably thanks to spectacular fashion shows that fascinated all of Paris. His collections, characterized by bold cuts and a powerful aesthetic, helped define the style of the 1980s.

Montana was famous for his strong silhouettes, with accentuated shoulders and cinched waists, highlighting a vision of the warrior woman, but always elegant. In 1990, the designer turned down an offer from Dior to join Lanvin, where he continued to impose his avant-garde vision of fashion.

However, his life was punctuated by dark periods marked by personal and professional trials, such as the tragic loss of his wife Wallis Franken in 1996 and the bankruptcy of his brand in 1997.

Retired from the fashion world for several years, Claude Montana had nevertheless continued to influence younger designers.