Innovative Canadian fashion designer and architect, Harry Parnass died January 1, at the age of 85.
Born in Germany, Harry’s parents immigrated to New York in 1936. He graduated with degrees in architecture from Columbia and Harvard universities and became a professor of architecture and urban design at the Université de Montreal from 1965 to 1991.
While designing retail stores in 1977 for the Montreal firm of Le Chateau he met Nicola Pelly, an English-born Canadian fashion designer for Bagatelle in Montreal. The two launched their Parachute label in Montreal in March, 1978. A Toronto boutique followed in late 1979. Their New Wave concept of unisex futuristic tailoring was popular in the U.S. and Canada. Overwhelmed by how business was changing and consuming their lives in 1989, Pelly and Parnass slowly closed their business – the last store shut its doors in 1993.
For more information about his architectural career, see this obituary.