Spanish fashion designer Pertegaz dies at 96

MADRID (AP) — Manuel Pertegaz, one of Spain's most admired fashion designers who dressed Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy and Ava Gardner, has died. He was 96.

Pertegaz died Saturday in his hometown of Barcelona, according to Spain's education and culture minister, Jose Ignacio Wert.

In a statement, Wert said he regretted Pertegaz's passing, adding that to think of the designer was "to think of elegance."

The statement said Pertegaz had "dressed queens, princesses, actresses and countless celebrities" in a long career that took off after he opened his first shop in Barcelona at 25.

In 1953, he made ??his first trip to the U.S. and presented his collection in New York, Boston, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Queen Letizia chose a Pertegaz wedding dress for her marriage in 2004 to then Prince Felipe.

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