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Jean-Paul Gaultier to retire as fashion designer

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Jean-Paul Gaultier to retire as fashion designer

PARIS, FRANCE —
French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier said Friday that his next haute couture show in Paris will be the last.

The extravagant designer said he will meet on Wednesday with a big party to mark his 50 years in the business after his latest collection hits the catwalk.

Its brand told AFP that its fashion and perfume business would remain alive, but that Gaultier was moving away from clothing design.

"Be sure that haute couture will continue with a new concept," said the designer, who put Madonna in a tapered bra.

Gaultier dropped the bomb in a typically playful video message, as if he were giving an exclusive interview to a telephone reporter.

Reclining on a lounge chair, he whispered, "Now I'm going to give you a spoon. It will be my last haute couture show. You have to come, you can't miss it … but, but, but I guarantee you, Gaultier Paris will continue, haute couture will continue.

"I have a new concept. I'll tell you all the little secrets later. To continue! Kisses, kisses."

Gaultier, 67, stopped designing ready-made clothes in 2015 to focus on haute couture – handmade clothes that only the richest women in the world can afford.

But last year, he insisted that he had no intention of letting go of the scissors – although he despaired of animal rights activists pressuring him to stop using fur.

A teenage prodigy, who gained fame in the 1980s, when the Paris fashion scene was the most decadent, Gaultier also created a parallel television career as co-host of a sassy series, "Eurotrash".

In 2018, he organized his own successful cabaret show, based on his life story called "Fashion Freak Show", which debuted at the Folie Bergere in Paris.

A spokeswoman for his brand told AFP that the designer would be back, but like veteran Japanese creator Kenzo – who moved to interior design – he would be in other areas.

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