MAM-E FASHION DICTIONARY: EMILIO PUCCI

MAM-E FASHION DICTIONARY: EMILIO PUCCI

Read about the “King of Print” and how he established his successful company.

The Origin

Emilio Pucci (1914-1992) is an Italian designer who was born in Florence, but his father, the Marquis Emilio Pucci di Barsento, was of Russian extraction. After studying social sciences at the University of Athens in Georgia, and then in Portland, Oregon, he signed up as an officer in the Italian Air Force in 1938. Having continued his studies with a Doctorate in political sciences at Florence University, he fought courageously in World War II.

Emilio Pucci Portrait in Office
Emilio Pucci Portrait in Office

His introduction to fashion came about quite by chance in 1947 amidst the snow of Zermatt, where he was training with the Olympic ski team. Toni Frissel, a well-known photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, immortalized Pucci in a shot with a female friend for whom he had improvised a ski outfit.

A year later Pucci’s first collection of sportswear appeared on the cover of the same magazine. His outfits were bought up immediately by the department store Lord and Taylor, and were given the label “Emilio” in the USA. The American market welcomed Pucci’s comfortable and practical fashion.

Emilio Pucci Prints

Emilio Pucci Prints
Emilio Pucci Prints

Emilio Pucci is highly influenced by Sicilian mosaics, heraldic banners, Bali Batiks, and African motifs. Therefore, he invented a unique style, recognizable for its printed textiles, first stylized, then geometric. Also, for his incredible use of color, which brought together shades in unforeseen combinations. His prints were designed to be shown off at their best when seen in motion on Pucci’s dynamically cut dresses.

The Success

In 1949, he launched his first beachwear collection in Capri, based on black and white prints created by Guido Ravasi of Como. The collection was a success, so in 1950 Pucci decided to open a boutique on the Canzone del Mare at Marina Piccola. His clothes were cut and assembled in the family home in Florence, where he had set up a small workshop in order to cope with the influx of requests.

Click to read more about Emilio Pucci.

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Rebecca Fabick
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