In 1966, Paco Rabanne’s founder named his first couture collection ‘Manifesto: 12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials’. Now the brand is pushing the concept of ‘unwearable’ further still in the virtual world. Uniting past, present and future, Paco Rabanne has created 12 NFT dresses based on some of its most conceptual couture designs from the past seven decades.

As a brand that has worked with futuristic materials from day one, experimenting in the world of digital art feels like a natural next step – particularly in collaboration with Vasarely. What’s more, all profits from the NFTs will go towards improving Paco Rabanne’s archive, including buying back archival garments, sketches, image rights, video and radio recordings of the designer himself. In other words: the brand is selling a version of the future to buy back its past.’


Since its creation, Paco Rabanne has been exploring new universes to enter new territories. “Paco Rabanne likes to explore worlds where disciplines cross and meet,” says the brand’s new Managing Director, Nadia Dhouib. “These 12 opulent NFTs are a way to show Paco Rabanne’s fashion know-how and celebrate the creativity from the archives in modern grammar. It’s our role to cherish and to inspire the new generation. Selling archive pieces as NFTs to cherish the past feels very natural, almost like a virtuous circle.” 

Purchasing any of the 12 Universe Paco Rabanne NFTs ensures the owner is eligible for exclusive Paco Rabanne airdrops and content in the future as they develop their presence within the web3 space.

However, two of the Paco Rabanne Unwearable designs are extra-special and are available as 1/1 ‘utility’ NFTs: the ’Transparent Rhodoïd™ Diamond Cape‘ from a haute couture collection of 1969 and the ‘Metallic Samurai Suit’ from the haute couture autumn/winter 90/91collection. 

Heralding a new era in fashion collecting, the owners of these 1/1 will get the incredible opportunity to visit the Paco Rabanne atelier in Paris, where they will be able to have a historic archive couture piece recreated for them, made-to-measure to their requirements, by Julien Dossena and the the French artisans who made the original heritage pieces.  The assembly of each of these designs will require more than 200 hours of meticulous work by the Paco Rabanne atelier team. 

1/1 holders will also be invited  to attend a Paco Rabanne fashion show, as a VIP guest of the fashion house. 

The ‘Transparent Rhodoïd™ Diamond Cape’, a classic 1960s Paco Rabanne design, features 5,600 plexiglass ‘diamonds’ assembled with 18,000 metal brass rings. 

The ‘Metallic Samurai Suitwill be reproduced in collaboration with the original supplier who worked on the dress over 30 years ago with Paco Rabanne using the same original mould including 5,000 metal paillettes and 10,500 metal rings).*

© Paco Rabanne. Photo: Jean Clemmer / Hélène Clemmer-Heidsieck

1. This ‘Transparent Rhodoïd™ Diamond Cape’ is shot here by legendary photographer Jean Clemmer for Nues, a groundbreaking photography book released in 1969 which went on to gain cult status. Clemmer and Rabanne were frequent artistic collaborators, often alongside Salvador Dalí who referred to Rabanne as “the second greatest Spanish genius”

Nues featured sensual, carefully styled shots of models dressed in Rabanne’s ‘Unwearable’ fashions. The book provoked shock and outrage for its  erotic interplay of the female body and adornment. However, what made the book a true catalyst of its era was accomplished by its paradigm shift of the idealisation of female beauty. In Nues Clemmer and Rabanne were the first to cast Black and Asian models, personifying them in a new mythic stature. 

Paco Rabanne was also the first designer to have a Black model walk a couture catwalk in1964 which almost had him dismissed from Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, and provoked outrage from fashion editors post show, one of whom spat in his face.

The ‘Transparent Rhodoïd™ Diamond Cape is a genuine testimony to Paco Rabanne’s style and construction – it covers the body as much as it reveals it.

© Archives Paco Rabanne

The Metallic Samurai Suit was the opening look of the Fall-Winter 90/91 show and saw Rabanne’s return to working with his signature ‘unwearable’ metal – his fondness of which had lead to Coco Chanel nicknaming him “the metallurgist of fashion” 

Inspired by samurai uniforms, this armour-like suit consisted of metallic squares reminiscent of those on butchers’ aprons, which were pieced together using wire, blowtorches, glue and hammers. With this piece, Rabanne  breaks traditions with conventional methods of dressmaking while speaking out for female liberation:

“In France, during the ’60s, women emerged to be warriors because they needed to affirm their desire for emancipation, freedom, and liberty. The armour was almost necessary,” explained Paco Rabanne. 

The entire collection of Paco Rabanne Universe NFTs that further explore this historic archive will be available to purchase from April 27th.

© Archives Paco Rabanne

Terms and conditions: *All intellectual property rights pertaining to this NFT remain the exclusive property of Paco Rabanne. The visual elements of this NFT cannot in any way be used in any form whatsoever, with the exception of private and free representations made exclusively within a family circle and reproductions strictly reserved for the private use of the copier and not intended for collective use, and free representations in the digital environment called metaverse; [+]

***This Utility NFT, includes the right to request one physical made-to-measure Suit/Cape (as the case might be) from PACO RABANNE according to the Terms and Conditions of UNIVERSE NFTS. This right will be exhausted once redeemed and will not be transferred with the NFT resale.