Ted Lapidus, the fashion designer known for creating the unisex image in the 1960s, has died at age 79.
President Nicolas Sarkozy responded by praising Lapidus as a designer who democratized French elegance and classicism.
An assistant of Rose Torrente-Mett, Lapidus' sister, says the designer died Monday in a hospital in Cannes on the Riviera, suffering from pulmonary problems. The colleague spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to discuss the death.
Lapidus created his label in 1951 and in 1963 he became a member of the prestigious Paris fashion circle that runs haute-couture shows. The Ted Lapidus label lives today through the sale of accessories such as fragrances and watches.
Funeral services are scheduled Friday at Paris' Pere-Lachaise cemetery.