French couture designer Gerard Pipart dies

Gerard Pipart, who was the couture designer at Nina Ricci for more than three decades, has died at the age of 79, French fashion's governing body said on Saturday.

Pipart started out at Pierre Balmain at the age of 16 and went on to work for Givenchy, Jean Patou and Chloe among others, before joining Nina Ricci in 1964 as its chief designer.

He was one of the first ready-to-wear designers, creating a brand at Chloe that was "pretty and modern and desired by women who until then had been wearing haute couture," said Beatrice Keller, a close aide who was press attache at Nina Ricci.

Pipart stayed at Nina Ricci for 35 years until his retirement.

He died on Friday.