Francisco Rabaneda-Cuervo was born in 1934 in the Basque region of Spain, near the city of San Sebastián, where his mother was a seamstress for designer Cristóbal Balenciaga and his father was an army general.
Raban’s life was uprooted by the Spanish Civil War when dictator Francisco Franco’s forces attacked and executed his father, a commander of the Guernica garrison, in 1936.
In 1939 his family fled to France and Raban went on to study at the University of Beaux-Arts in Paris, graduating with a Diploma in Architecture.
He began his fashion career making accessories – jewellery, ties, buttons – which attracted the attention of Christian Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Cardin.
After a media uproar surrounding his own line, Raban signed a deal in 1968 that brought him under the ownership of the Barcelona-based Puig family, which is heavily involved in the fashion and fragrance industry.
This marked his foray into perfumery, making his name synonymous with cologne, eventually eclipsing his fame as a designer.