French Designer Claude Montana Dead at 76 

French Designer Claude Montana Dead at 76 

Claude Montana.
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

Famed French fashion designer Claude Montana has died. He was 76. 

His death was confirmed by French news agency AFP on Friday, February 23. He passed in his native Paris, per Women’s Wear Daily

While Montana had lived under the radar in recent years, his impact on the fashion industry is undeniable. He was revered throughout the late 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s for being a pioneer in avant-garde design and was peers with Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier

He became a leading force in leather following his first fashion show in 1976 and founded his own namesake fashion house, The House of Montana, in 1979. He went on to design Lanvin couture from 1990 and 1992. His label is currently owned by businessman Jean-Jacques Layani

Designer Claude Montana Dead 941
Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Montana was known for his “power-woman” style, which included bold colors (namely bright green), sharp tailoring as well as overstated and inflated silhouettes — in the form of padded shoulders and flared pants. 

Celebrity Deaths of 2024 Stars We Lost This Year

Related: Celebrity Deaths of 2024: Stars We Lost This Year

Hollywood mourned many celebrities in 2024. Speed Racer star Christian Oliver (born Christian Klepser) died at the age of 51 during a fatal plane crash on January 5. Oliver was traveling home from a Caribbean vacation with his two daughters — Madita and Annik, whom he shared with wife Jessica Klepser — on January 4. […]

His muses included Helena Christensen, Tyra Banks, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista. He was married to supermodel Wallis Franken from 1993 until her death in 1996. (She fell from a window and the incident was ruled a suicide.) 

Of his impact, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of the French fashion federation, gushed to WWD, “The work of Claude Montana embodied exceptional craftsmanship. His daring creations influenced a whole generation of designers.”

Designer Claude Montana Dead 942
Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

He added, “His distinctive style, blending sophistication and modernity, remains firmly rooted in the imagination of contemporary fashion, testifying to his indelible impact on the industry and on generations to come.” 

Naomi Campbell Best Runway Moments of All Time

Related: Naomi Campbell’s Best Runway Moments of All Time: Then and Now

Naomi Campbell has been strutting her stuff on catwalks around the world for over three decades, and, as you can imagine, there have been some pretty iconic moments along the way. After getting her start in the 1980s, Campbell quickly became known as a member of the Fab Four, which included Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista […]

The organization’s executive president, Pascal Morand, echoed similar sentiments. “A visionary, Claude Montana constantly pushed the boundaries of fashion, reaching beyond his time to redefine standards of style and design. He challenged expectations and opened up new paths for creative expression,” he said, per WWD.

Related Articles