PARIS (AP) _ Andre Oliver, right-hand man to designer Pierre Cardin, has died after a long illness, a spokesman for the fashion house said Friday. He was 61.

Oliver died at his Paris home Thursday, said Pierre Crey. He did not give the cause of death.

Oliver was born in Toulouse in 1932. After studying at the Beaux-Arts academy in Paris, he joined Pierre Cardin in 1951. He created several men's wear collections, but was best known for his participation in Cardin's couture lines.

He specialized in soft, ruffly looks and always appeared with Cardin onstage after couture shows.

Oliver also designed a men's wear line under his own name for the United States.

The funeral will be private, limited to a few friends and family, the spokesman said. A date was not announced publicly.

Information about survivors was not immediately available.