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Fashion Houses

Thursday, July 28th, 2016
Powerhouses of Style and Glamour Italian Fashion Houses: Gisele wearing Versace   Fashion in Italy is a national preoccupation. Even the remotest of towns are inhabited by people who care how they look. Unsurprisingly, many Italian Fashion Houses are family-run affairs, be it the unparalleled legacy of Ferragamo or the colourful traditions of Missoni.   Some of the Italian Fashion Houses are more than fifty years old, like the house of Valentino which opened its doors in the 1950s. Then
Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
  Fiorucci Iconic Print. Ph. tupi on flickr   Elio Fiorucci (Milan 1935-2015) was the son of a shoe shop owner and was one of the great made-in-Italy innovators, whose pop style at democratic prices caused a revolution in clothing beginning in the 1960s.   His first store opened in Milan in 1967, where he sold his soon-to-become iconic T-shirts printed with Victorian angels and hearts in fluorescent colors as well as brightly colored gadgets, accessories, food and beverages.   The store became
Friday, July 10th, 2015
valentino haute couture
Rome represents the core essence of the Valentino brand, though the company has long gone global.   Valentino Mirabilia Romae Haute Couture FW15-16   The Eternal City is where Valentino Garavani founded his couture house in 1960 and where he was honored in 2007 with a retrospective at the Ara Pacis Museum and a show at the Monumental complex of Santo Spirito in Sassia, reaping the rewards as Rome's most glamorous name for half a century.   His successors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
Prada. The name alone signifies style and luxury, designer handbags and fabulous shoes. Born nearly a century ago, The House of Prada is recognized worldwide for its simple and elegant creations.   Mario Prada started the Prada label in 1913. He designed and sold handbags, shoes, trunks, and suitcases though two boutiques in Milan, and had clients across Europe and the US. When the signature Prada suitcase, made from heavy, cumbersome walrus skin, proved to be ill suited for air travel,
Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
roberto cavalli
The legendary fashion designers of the world often possess very little similarity to their patrons; typically a young, urban lot, hungry for the latest pieces on the runways of the world. But when it comes to experience and knowledge of what the youth want, few can match Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, who relies on his mature fashion sense in creating his couture collections. Despite his more recent success throughout the world, Roberto Cavalli has long been a pioneer of taste and fashion
Friday, May 29th, 2015
restoration italian monuments
  The Trevi Fountain under Restoration. Ph. Ansa   When I saw the Trevi Fountain in March this year (2015), its statues looked miserable behind scaffolding, and there was no gushing water. According to tradition, visitors who want to return to the Eternal City throw three coins into the Trevi Fountain, but who wants to toss coins into it when it is empty? Many disappointed tourists have complained about the length of the works, which will keep the fountain empty until October. Some have even
Monday, May 11th, 2015
The Bottega Veneta approach to fashion is refined and understated, dispensing with logos and flash to appeal to a customer who is self-assured, sophisticated and confident with his or her own style. This brand is all about sustainable, discreet luxury. Botttega Veneta started as a premier Italian leather goods house steeped in the traditions of the master leather craftsman of the Veneto. It was founded by Vittorio and Laura Moltedo in 1966 and headquartered in Vicenza. The fashion house
Monday, March 2nd, 2015
Prada on the catwalk   (ANSA) - Milan, February 27 2015   As fashion is delving into the great gender blur, Miuccia Prada dived head down into a quest for lost femininity in her fall-winter 2015 collection debuted Thursday in Milan.   And while the deliberate erosion of a once rigid demarcation between men's and women's wear continues to dominate catwalks, Prada showcased pastel colours with a strong predominance of pink styled with ladylike gloves, dress coats and empire-line dresses
Saturday, November 16th, 2013
salvatore ferragamo
"New fashion begins in the mind of the designer," Salvatore Ferragamo once said. The great shoe designer put this into practice during the course of his very successful and innovative career. Born in the tiny village of Bonito, near Naples, in 1898, he was the eleventh of fourteen children. The young and ambitious Salvatore came from a very poor family that couldn't even afford to buy shoes for his sisters’ First Communion. Salvatore made the shoes for them, and thus found his calling. He
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Alessandro Dell'Acqua : The New Femininity A brilliant Italian designer, Alessandro Dell'Acqua creates clothes for women who love to be feminine. Famous for his pretty, shimmery dresses and using materials such as chiffon, lace, and tulle, he once said that he wants every woman to be noticed. Alessandro Dell'Acqua Fashion, Italy Born in Naples in 1962, Dell'Acqua studied at the Art Institute of Naples and graduated in 1982, specializing in graphic design. His career began the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Valentino: Helping Superstars Look the Part Valentino Garavani is one of Italy's finest fashion designers. Known for his classic designs, he's been dressing the world’s rich and famous for almost the last five decades. Valentino has built his once small fashion house into a fashion empire, with a little help from his partner in business, Giancarlo Giammetti. Valentino dresses are a legend today. Jacqueline Kennedy and Sophia Loren wore Valentino With his trademark "V", Valentino has
Friday, June 1st, 2012
fashion armani
   Giorgio Armani is, to many, Italy's premiere fashion designer. His work is crisp, clean, elegant and tailored. Armani's designs have changed the look and feel of contemporary fashion in business, entertainment and the fashion industry itself. Armani is a no-nonsense designer who came from humble beginnings in Piacenza, Italy, where he was born on July 11, 1934.   Giorgio Armani - The Man Behind the Design.    Young Giorgio wanted to be a doctor, not a
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Roberto Capucci: Italian Fashion Sculptor Roberto Capucci has been referred to as a fashion maestro, an architect of clothing and also a sculptor, but to put it simply, he has been a leading Italian fashion designer. Hailing from Rome, his sculpted apparel much like the abundance of Roman sculpture on display in that wonderful city, is a display of inventiveness. This makes it all the more timeless for its ability to stand out even as the fashion world employs trend after trend with each
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Schiaparelli : The Shocking Italian Who Conquered Paris Elsa Schiaparelli once said of her career: "Poverty forced me to work, and Paris gave me a liking for it." She was being modest indeed, considering that she was the most innovative and influential dress designer of the 20th century. Known for her shocking designs and Surrealist influences, Schiaparelli's haute couture clothes and accessories became justly famous during the late 1920s. Born in Rome in 1890 to strict, aristocratic parents
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Versace: Gianni’s Legacy and Donatella’s Chutzpah Versace is one of the best known Italian fashion brands, and for good reason. Its founder, Gianni Versace, and its torchbearer, Donatella Versace, have made the brand the epitome of rock-star glamour, decadent style, and in-your-face sexiness. Wearing Versace has become the signature style of the glitterati. With the passing away of Gianni, the brand may have lost its continuous association with theatre and art, it remains a formidable force in
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Dolce & Gabbana: Fashions of Fantasy Dolce & Gabbana celebrates the voluptuous woman and the metro-sexual man. The Dolce and Gabbana woman glories in her curves and her inherent sexuality: Madonna is the brand’s most famous muse. Being one of the world famous singer's favorite designers helped Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana immensely on their climb up the ladder of success. Together they have designed a great many costumes for her to wear in her world tours. And their work just
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian Designer Collaborating with Swedish Clothing Giant for Fall Collection   The fashion world has been abuzz after news hit that Donatella Versace will be putting her family's name to a diffusion line (billed as an "Iconic Collection") set to hit H&M stores this fall. It's not that Versace isn't in good company; high end designers from Lagerfeld to Lanvin, not to mention Jimmy Choo, have all produced such collections for the Swedish high street fashion chain. It's that most in the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Laura Biagiotti: Italian Cashmere Aficionado Born in Rome in 1943, Laura Biagiotti got her start in the fashion industry by helping out at her mother Delia Soldaini’s dressmaking business, from 1962 to 1965, after having taken a degree in archaeology. Laura enjoyed her job but soon grew restless doing work for other designers like Schuberth, Barocco, Cappucci, Heinz Riva, and Licitro, and wanted to create fashions in her own name. Her big break came in 1965 when a deal was made between herself
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Rocco Barocco: Brilliant Italian Fashion Designer Rocco Barocco, one of Italy's most beloved and successful fashion designers, offers a fine taste of Italian beauty in fashion wear, high-end accessories, and perfumes for women, men, and children. An inspirational and highly creative designer, Rocco Barocco spares nothing when designing clothing for the rich and famous. His clothing creations range from casual ready-to-wear to elite evening-wear. Rocco Barocco, christened
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The famous Italian fashion house Missoni turned knitwear modern. Fêted everywhere for its bright, colorful designs and kaleidoscopic patterns, this enormous family-run business has romantic origins. It all began when Ottavio Missoni, the son of an Italian sea captain and a Serbian countess, went to London in 1948 to compete in the 400 meter hurdles at the Olympic Games. He had his own very small knitwear company and designed the tracksuits for the Italian Olympic team.  
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Gianfranco Ferre: Functional Elegance A native from Legnano in northern Italy, Gianfranco Ferre, born on August 15, 1944, began his exciting and highly successful career in the world of fashion in 1970. Although he earned a degree in architecture in 1969, he chose to follow a different path and began to design an array of fashion accessories for the owners of a boutique in Portofino. Ferre Design, Italy, 2000 Ferre did not step far from his architectural learning however,
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Giuseppe Zanotti: Bejeweled Footwear Giuseppe Zanotti at Giuseppe Zanotti Autumn-Winter 2010-11 Celebrated Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti says in Elle, March 2010, "Se conosci il corpo della donna e i materiali, in una scarpa puoi mettere tutte le idee che vuoi." Translated: "If you know a woman's body and different materials, you can apply all the ideas you want in a shoe." In a career spanning twenty-five years, Zanotti has done just that, creating shoes of fantasy and splendour.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The United Colors of Benetton Even if you don't know much about the Benetton brand of clothing, you've likely seen their advertisements. Benetton ads have caused a stir across the globe, earning acclaim and awards, as well as contempt and censorship for their controversial subject matter. Before becoming an international sensation however, the Benetton brand had humble beginnings in Ponzano Veneto, Italy, where it started out as a small family business. Benetton Fashion
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Emilio Pucci, The King of Casual Couture Emilio Pucci was the kingpin of textile reinvention and beautiful prints in the fifties and sixties. His designs revolutionized the world of fashion, knocking the previous trend of dull colors and heavy fabrics out of fashion and developing a fan following that was almost unheard of at the time. Today, original Pucci prints from the beginning of his career are highly collectible items. This does not mean Pucci has been relegated to history, the brand’s
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Neapolitan Designer Antonio Fusco Antonio Fusco, a Neapolitan designer, searched for a way to express a unique cut and style for men and to express glamour and femininity with his designs for women. He avoided minimalism, and instead employs colors, fabrics, and stylistic designs to create unique and appealing collections. Fusco developed a trademark style and built his collection with his line of soft suits. With their well-formed, soft shoulders and partially unbuttoned cuffs, Antonio Fusco
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Ennio Capasa & Costume National Hailing from the heel of Italy's boot - the town of Lecce - Ennio Capasa was raised on fashion. Capasa's parents were proprietors of several upscale boutiques showcasing a glamorous abundance of couture. As a child, the designer despised fashion, but the allure of design lead him to enroll in the Milan Academy of Fine Arts in 1982. As the founder of Costume National, Capasa has embraced his fashion beginnings and today designs clothes that straddle the line
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Donatella Versace : Taking the Reins of the Versace Label She's known for her platinum blonde hair, her extravagant grape-sized diamonds, and her lavish parties - but above all else, she is known as the sister of major Italian designer Gianni Versace, and the reigning head of the Versace fashion empire. Donatella Versace has moved from the background to the limelight, flawlessly carrying on her older brother's legacy. Above: The Versace Mansion She was born on May 2, 1955 in Reggio di
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Renato Balestra: Couturier Par Excellence Italy, steeped in long traditions of beauty and charm, is famed the world over for its out-of-this-world fashion houses. Among the most discreet yet important fashion houses of Italy is that of Renato Balestra, located on Via Sistina in Rome.Many of Balestra's clientele have been famous, well-known women in the international jet set from around the world. He has designed clothing for the Queen of Thailand, the Empress of Iran, the First Lady of Egypt,
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Franco Moschino: Fashion Designer Extraordinaire Franco Moschino, a native Italian, was born in 1950 in the small town of Abbiategrasso, near Milan. Sadly, Franco's father died when he was a young boy of four. As a way to fill the void, Franco developed a keen interest in art and drawing as a young child. Pursuing his love of art, Franco Moschino attended the Accademia di Bella Arte in Milan in 1967. However, in order to finance his education there, he began to sketch fashion designs and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
  Fendi on the runway for the Spring-Summer 2015 Women Fashion   Fendi is all about refined Italian glamor. It is an unabashed display of richness and sensuality, and a taste for indulgence--what began as a small family business has today spawned a fashion empire with flagship stores located all over the world. Adele Casagrande, founder of the House of Fendi, opened a small fur and leather goods shop in Rome in 1918. In 1925, Adele married Edoardo Fendi, and changed the name of
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Denim from Italy : Diesel “What is really important to me is that we do something special, be it the clothes, a window display, an ad campaign. It’s really not that important to me to make big sales,” says Renzo Rosso, who is the founder of the Diesel brand. But the brand which was turning in 3 million Euro in 1985 had sales figures exceeding 1 billion Euro in 2007, testimony to how fearless passion can lead to growth. Renzo Rosso, Diesel, Italy Rosso was born in Padua, Italy in 1955, the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Rome's Prominent and Oldest Fashion House The history of Rome's oldest fashion house, the glamorous Sorelle Fontana, reads like a fairy tale. It is the story of three young women who made their way from a tiny town near Parma to Rome and then America, whose beautiful designs became highly sought-after by Hollywood stars, famous women and the Italian aristocracy. The three women, sisters Zoe, Micol and Giovanna came from Traversetolo, where they were taught dressmaking by