PARIS — Frédéric Castet, who designed furs for Christian Dior for more than three decades, has died in Paris at the age of 81, the French fashion house said.

This story first appeared in the June 22, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Frenchman joined Dior in 1953 and inaugurated its ready-to-wear fur division in 1973. He left the company in 1988, opening a store in Paris’ Golden Triangle and going on to launch his own collections in Asia.

Though little known by the general public, Castet was highly respected by his peers and had a star-studded client list including Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich.

“Frédéric Castet was an extraordinary man with a unique sense of style,” said Dennis Basso. “He was a pioneer in designing fur always in the most creative manner. He clearly set the trend of the modern use of fur — a true talent.”

A fur cape designed by Castet is among the looks on display at the “Inspiration Dior” exhibition currently on display at Moscow’s Pushkin Museum.

Castet, who is survived by two sisters, was laid to rest in a church ceremony in Paris on Tuesday.

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