Stylist, designer and television personality Cristo Báñez dies aged 41 – WWD

Members of the Spanish fashion scene mourn the passing of Cristo Báñez, a designer and stylist who helped modernize the way flamenco dancers dress and are perceived.

The 41-year-old was reportedly found dead at his home in Seville earlier this week. The cause of death has not yet been clarified. A representative of the Spanish National Police in Seville said on Friday afternoon: “We currently have no information to confirm the death of Cristo Báñez.”

In addition to advising celebrity clients, television personalities and celebrities on their fashion choices, Báñez has appeared on shows such as Canal Sur-produced talent show Aguja Flamenca. Throughout his career he has remained true to his Spanish roots, mentoring high profile Spanish women and supporting the Andalusian community.

Pepa Bueno, chief executive of the Spanish Fashion Council, said on Friday: “He modernized flamenco clothing where other designers created styles.” [that one might see] in a museum. He did it in a more local way, but he was an interesting and fun designer. He also appeared as a judge on another TV show about new designers, which was very popular for about two years.”

This appearance as part of Quiero Ser with Dulceida and Madame Rosa in 2016 increased Báñez’s fame, particularly in southern Spain in the region of Andalusia, where he grew up. “He was more popular because he was a funny character. He was also very energetic and headstrong on television. He was the kind of person television producers love to have on the air. When you do a program like this, you want to have these kinds of comedic people [on-air.]’ Bueno said.

Plans for a memorial service were not initially known.

Earlier this year he acted as a judge at the Seville International Flamenco Fashion Week. Báñez was reportedly filming for a television show a few days before his death.

Bueno speculated that Báñez would like to be remembered as “someone who revolutionized or changed flamenco clothing to make it more modern and contemporary”.

Although flamenco dresses are widely associated with spirited and dramatic flamenco dancers, the art of flamenco contains elements of singing and percussion, as well as dancing. Costumes and staging are key elements of all performances.

Peasants and gypsies in Seville, from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, were the first to wear gypsy dresses – the forerunners of flamenco dresses. What was essentially a robe or dressing gown with ruffles was worn by many for housework. Over time, embroidery was added and lighter fabric colors were chosen. In 1847, the style gained attention after some Spanish gypsy women and cattle dealers’ wives wore these dresses at the April Fair in Seville. Over time, the actual dress code at the annual event caught the interest of female society.

Flamenco dresses reflect Andalusian culture and continue to be worn at traditional festivals and pilgrimages in the region, as well as internationally. The vibrant designs remain the signature look of flamenco dancers.

Báñez’s devotion to his Andalusian community was reciprocated. In a current social media Almonte City Council expressed in this post “its sadness” at the loss of the designer and stylist and offered its condolences to his family and friends. “The local government team wants to publicly recognize his work by always bearing the name of the city of Almonte. He also announced last year’s fair,” the post reads. Almonte City Council officials did not respond to a media inquiry.

The survivors of Báñez were initially unknown. Stylist, designer and television personality Cristo Báñez dies aged 41 – WWD

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