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Obituary: Designer Fernando Sanchez, 70

Fernando Sanchez, one of the leading designers and originators of elegant at-homewear, died Wednesday night at his Manhattan home, said his cousin and...

NEW YORK — Fernando Sanchez, one of the leading designers and originators of elegant at-homewear, died Wednesday night at his Manhattan home, said his cousin and business partner, Jano Herbosch. Sanchez was 70.

Sanchez died of complications from a sand-fly bite that he apparently suffered about two years ago at his vacation home in Morocco, Herbosch said.

Born in Spain, Sanchez moved to Paris at age 17 and studied couture with Yves Saint Laurent. He arrived in New York in 1960, inspired by the movie “West Side Story.”

Sanchez designed ready-to-wear and furs before making his mark as a designer of sleepwear and at-homewear. The designer, who often dressed in black velour and flamenco-style boots, was a distinctive personality known for his lavish parties in New York, Paris and Morocco.

During the past two decades, he developed a cult following for his rainbow-colored, double-faced, brushed-back satin robes and caftans. His designs were sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and in specialty stores across the U.S.

Sanchez is to be cremated.

A memorial will be held in the fall. Although the date hasn’t been set, Herbosch said “he wanted a celebration of life and he wanted everybody to party.”