Emilio Pucci, who hasn’t heard of this man? You know him from his geometric prints and world renowned scarves, but this Italian born designer wasn’t always into fashion.
Born on November 20, 1914 in Naples, Italy, Marchese Emilio Pucci de Barsento was the son of a wealthy and noble family. Given his luxurious surroundings, he became interested in hobbies that only the rich enjoyed; skiing, swimming, fencing, playing tennis, and racing cars. His love for sports led him right into fashion. He took part in the 1932 Winter Olympics as a part of the Italian Skiing Team, but he didn’t compete.
Unlike a lot of other designers, he went to quite a lot of schools. In 1933 he went to the University of Milan and then the University of Georgia. In 1935 he earned a skiing scholarship to attend the Reed College in the United States and got a Masters in Social Science. In 1937 he earned his doctorate in Political Science from the University of Florence.
As if that was not enough, he joined the Italian Air Force and served as a pilot during WWII. He returned home to Italy because of health concerns that kept him from flying.
He did play a big part in the War I mean, he was the confidant of Mussolini’s oldest daughter. He drove her to the Swiss border to ensure her escape as well. Crazy right ?
Well, enough of the history lesson, let’s talk fashion. Though he designed the clothing for the Reed College ski team, he didn’t get noticed until he was skiing on the slopes of St. Moritz. A Harper’s Bazaar reported noticed him and his outfit and found out that he made his own clothing. He was invited to make a few pieced for a photo shoot with the magazine in 1948 and that is when the world got their first look at what Emilio Pucci could do.
Pucci, using stretch fabric in ways that Europe had never seen before, opened his first shop in Capri in 1949. In 1950 he created his first couture line of clothing and showed it in France. He was using his knowledge of stretch fabric and bold prints to set him apart from other designers and people loved it. Having his own fashion house was a big step fro Emilio because he would be the first in his family to hold a job in over a thousand years.
He leveraged his resources in order to get his line started. He used his family’s palace as his ateliers and used the grand ballrooms to show his collections.
As quick as his career began, he got recognition even quicker. By the early 1950’s he was winning awards from Neiman Marcus and his clothing was worn by Jackie O. The popularity of his dresses could be accredited to the lightweight fabric and their ability to remain wrinkle-free.
Fun Fact: Marylin Monroe was buried in one of his dresses.
It was also during the 50’s that Pucci began to develop his signature : Graphic Prints. Known as “the prince of prints” his clothing didn’t need to bear his name as a logo, his prints could be recognized as the work of only one man: Emilio Pucci.
In 1959 he began to make lingerie, in 1965 he began making stewardess uniforms that came complete with helmets that would protect their hair from rain and wind. He also designed the Apollo 15 mission patch even though the crew replaced the original colors of blues and greens with red, whites, and blues. He even designed Cappellini furniture and a 300 foot hand painted sail for the Wally Yachts.
In 1966 he released a perfume called “Vivara.”
Pucci must have been a man who had a list of things he wants to do before he dies because this man has seriously done everything. I am starting to feel like designing was just a side hobby. Did you know he was he was on the Italian Parliament in 1963 and in 1968.
Sadly in 1992, Emilio died at the age of 78. His daughter Laudomia took over as the head designer of his house. Followed by others such as Julio Espada, Christian Lacroix, and Matthew Williamson. Now Peter Dundas will take over as creative director. In 2000, LVMH acquired 67% of Pucci.
Overall, Pucci was driven by the desire to liberate women and granting them the freedom and movement. This has to do with his fabric choices that are undoubtedly his signature. Hailing from a luxurious family bloodline, he was able to capture the essences of beauty and elegance in his designs and every woman wanted that, nick named the “Pucci Look.”
Pucci Quote :
“When you put on something with color, suddenly you feel happy and rested. You go out with a man, and he gets joy from how you look. I’m not giving you a dress. I’m giving an element of joy to you, which is much more important than a stupid dress.”
I am so feeling this guy let me tell you why ( yes, I am a poet lol). I really love how he pursued other careers than fashion design. It really showed how well rounded he was. I mean I am impressed that he even decided to get such an extensive education and career given that he was royalty. I mean I know I would have been temped to just chill at the palace :-), but not him. He wanted to design, study, change laws, do everything he ever wanted and then some. His clothing, in a way, is reminiscent of that. They are free and unpredictable but yet still have a purpose.
I love his clothing and I love that even without a logo, it is recognizable. I mean who wouldn’t know a Pucci scarf from a mile away.
I know it is hard to learn from him because he was very brief with his fashion career but I think we can take the phrase ” Carpe Diem” from him. He definitely seized the day with all the things he accomplished in his life. His fashion career basically fell in his lap and he took it and ran with it. So when even an opportunity presents itself, take it and milk it for all its worth by using all your resources and abilities to take advantage of it in the best way possible. That’s what Emilio did and look at his legacy!
July 14, 2009
omg. I am back. Miss me much ?
So let’s get down to it. Today we are gonna chat a little about a pair of designers that have truly become household names, Dolce and Gabbana. Now usually I do not frequent men.style.com but I had to in order to do my research and, let me tell you, I am now addicted. What I have learned is that, if I was a male, I wouldn’t wear anything but Dolce and Gabbana. I mean for goodness sakes, they make a man look sexy in what looks like construction clothes. And they completely trashed the memo that jean shirts were out…
As men after my own heart, they start their own trends while staying true to their overall purpose and vision of their line. And to top it off they received a hilarious product placement in the new movie Bruno so I absolutely had to dedicate a blog post to them.
As the tycoons of 2 successful lines, Dolce&Gabbana and D&G, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are Italian born sweethearts. With clients that are among some of the best dressed people in the world,these two men are heavily influential, but they weren’t born this way. Let’s take a look at their journey to the top.
Starting with Domencio Dolce (above) who was born on September 13, 1958 in Polizzi Generosa near Palermo, Sicily. He remained in Sicily to studied fashion design and gained experience through his parent’s clothing business which focused on clothes for everyday wear, a far shot from his line today. His father’s profession as a tailor was a huge inspiration for him to get into fashion. He uses design as a way to capture and bring to life the things he dreams about and to translate the dreams of others into wearable art.
Stefano Gabbana (above) was born in Venice, Italy on November 14, 1962. He, on the other hand, studied graphic design at a University in Milan. He became interested in designers when he was young, in particular Fiorucci. However he went to a University because he also desired to go into advertising. Upon graduating he dabbled in advertising and quit after he found his heart wasn’t in it. It was then that he came to learn the art of fashion during a hands-on experience as an assistant with an atelier in Milan.
It was at this atelier in Milan in 1980 where the D&G duo met. Both interested in fashion and in each other , they inevitably hit it off. Stefano and Domenico did freelancing work to sharpen their skills for the adventure they would embark on six yeas later, their own line. Stefano claims that though he learned a lot from the atelier in Milan, he learned the most from Domencio about fashion. They decided early on that women would be their target market to get them out of the land of freelance and in their own fashion house.
They formed an informal partnership in 1982 by freelancing for other companies. They were then able to break out and indeed they tried to make a name for themselves, but they were not getting noticed. They recall their first show in a tiny apartment, using friends as models and without the help of any professional PR people. They even held shows in fast-food joints, the invitations were shaped like hamburgers.
Their quirky antics received some attention and got them a spot in 1984 Milan fashion week, in the New Talent Fashion show in 1985. People fell in love. In 1986 they launched their very first women’s line, Dolce&Gabbana, further solidifying their union. Soon after they opened their premiere boutique in Japan.
Their style his a bit of history behind it, which makes it so unique. They believe that men’s and women’s clothing should have a touch of the opposite gender in them. Their reasoning was that in the 16th century men wore make up and heals and women were wearing manly suits and flat shoes. They use this theory to make their clothing, moving away from modern trends where clothes enforce gender distinctions. Additionally, they attribute the style of their line to their differing tastes. Dolce and Gabbana have such different tastes that they are able to cover a lot of bases in the market. Together, they both love style and feel of southern Italy and that is seen in their designs.
With their increased popularity came a Dolce&Gabbana men’s collection in 1990 and a brand new boutique in Milan. In 1994 they launched a less expensive women’s line, called D&G. They continue the same themes of their “one taste… not what is trendy” clothing. They say that it’s better to stick with your own style or otherwise, e la morte a.k.a. DEATH. ( I tried to tell you guysss)
Though Dolce and Gabbana gained popularity on their own, they received a great deal of attention after designing 1,500 costumes for Madonna’s World Tour in 1993, The Girlie Show. They even designed a backdrop for the entire tour.
In 1995 they published a book called 10 years of Dolce and Gabbana which paid homage to their first decade of fashions, which an intro done by Italian actress Isabella Rossellini. Her endorsement made their popularity spread rapidly, requiring all the celebs had to get their hands on a Dolce and Gabbana piece. Following their success, they published their second book in 2003 called Hollywood.
Ok so evidently the two were romantically involved since about 1985, but they publicly announced it in 2000 right before buying the Villa Volpe in 19th century palazzo in the center of Milan to live together.
However in 2005 they split and moved into separate apartments. They reassured everyone that their label would not be effected and rest assured, it definitely was not. Their professional connection proved to be made of a non-rusting metal thread.
In other drama news, in January 2009 G. Armani had some beef with Dolce and Gabbana saying they copied a pair of silk pants form his Milan Fashion week. Dolce and Gabbana released a statement saying ” For sure we have much to learn- but certainly not from him.”
The drama continues on July 9th their public relations director Ali Wise was arrested on felony computer hacking charges. She was held in cell with no A-list treatment for one night. According to Page Six she was caught using a “computer to unlawfully engage in wiretapping, for eavesdropping, and for computer trespassing to commit felony,” in laymens terms that probably means she was trying to get into someone’s email to be nosey. Shame on you Ali for bringing any type of negative attention to Dolce and Gabbana.
- The Woolmark Award for the most innovative Men’s collection in the year 1991.
- “Dolce & Gabbana Parfum” awarded the international prize of the Perfume Academy as the best feminine fragrance of the year in 1993
- “Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme” awarded the international prize of the Perfume Academy for the best masculine fragrance, best packaging and best communication of the year in 1995
- In 1996 it won “Oscar des Parfums” Award which was the first time a Frnch Award was given to an Italian fragrancefor its “Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme”.
- In 1996 and 1997, they were the recipients of the “Designer of the Year” award voted by the readers of the British magazine FHM.
- In 1997, Dolce & Gabbana was awarded the footwear designer of the year by the American magazine “Footwear News”.
- In 1999 they were the recipients of the “Style Award” assigned by Russian Harper’s Bazaar.
- In 2001 they received the “T de Telva” award for best international designers; assigned by the Spanish magazine Telva.
- In 2003, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were honored in New York as Best Designer of the Year at the prestigious GQ Men of the Year Awards for outstanding achievement in men’s fashion design. In the same year they were honored in New York at the Fashion Group International’s 20th Annual Night of Stars for outstanding achievement in Italian design
- In 2004 they were voted as the “Best International Designers” by the readers of British Elle vote for Elle Style Awards.
- In 2004 they were recipients of the German ‘Leadaward 2004’, the most important advertising prize in German speaking countries, assigned for the Fall/Winter 2003/04 advertising campaign. In the same year they received first prize as the best website in eyewear category at Annual Interactive Key award in Milan.
- In 2004, at the Università Bocconi in Milan, Dolce & Gabbana received the “Premio Risultati 2004” award for the company’s financial performance and best financial statements during the four-year period of 1999-2002, and for its strategic positioning and development prospects.
- In 2005, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are presented the ‘GQ Men of the Year Award’ for best international designers by Russian GQ.
- In 2006, Dolce & Gabbana were presented in Hamburg the Leadaward 2006, considered one of the most prestigious German awards for the Best Advertising Campaign of the Year (“Swinging London,” women’s campaign Fall / Winter 2005/06).
“I like time… Repetition dosen’t exist” – Dolce
” If You Envy Other People You Don’t Grow” – Dolce