Emilio Pucci

11 August 2016

We can't thing of one garment more appropriate fro a summer party than your favourite vividly printed dress. Bold and colorful prints have been around for some time, but there's one man in fashion history that we should credit with creating the most beautiful prints in the world: Emilio Pucci. In this Masterclass we guide you through the colorful life of Emilio Pucci and unveil the heritage of his iconic printed items. It all began with the birth of Emilio, who originally started out in his career as an Olympic skier.

Ciao Emilio
Marquis Emilio Pucci di Barsento, or Emilio Pucci, was born in 1914. He was part of one of the oldest and eminent families of Florence, and embraced the jet set life from an early age. He was a very smart young man and a sportsman too. He earned his PhD in political science and joined the Olympic skiing team in 1932. In 1935, he earned a skiing scholarship to attend university in the USA. This is where Pucci first came into contact with the world of fashion design, as he started designing sportswear for his ski team. Another trip to the world of fashion wouldn't come until much later, while he was teaching Italian and giving skiing lessons in Zermatt. He designed a streamlined ski outfit, consisting of a hooded park and tapered ski-pants, for himself and his friends. The outfit got captured by famous fashion photographer Toni Frissell in 1947, and before he knew it, he was published in Harper's Bazaar USA. 

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Prince of prints
In 1950, Emilio started to set up his atelier in his family's grand palazzo in Florence, nowadays still the headquarters of Pucci. He began to collaborate with fabric manufacturers to develop light weight, wrinkle proof stretch fabrics. A revolution, since only heavy fabrics were used before. It was liberating and suited the life of the modern and active woman. After opening his first boutique on the Island of Capri, he started to design wearable and chic clothing, embracing the natural curves of the body. He introduced a new style, sportswear chic. At first, he only worked with classic black and white, but in 1953, he started to work with vivid colours. These bold colours were followed up by graphic and abstract prints, designed by himself. He was the only one, to use these kind of psychedelic prints, which resulted into the press crowning him as 'Prince of prints'. 

[youtube src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOUgbkilOb0" style=""]Emilio Pucci [/youtube]
Iconic Pucci 
Even though his clothes were relatively simple, the prints made every Pucci piece a stunning item. Pucci got his inspirations for his prints from his many voyages to far and exotic countries, such as Bali, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. His prints consisted of swirl, geometric figures, Bali batiks and African prints. He also got inspiration from his home-country, from Italian history to Mediterranean landscapes. For example, he used Sicilian mosaics and prints from Renaissance art. A few decades later, he got influenced by pop art, rock music and the American space program. Each print was a little piece of art, framed by seams and perfected with his signature style. His most famous print was called Vivara and was inspired by the island of Ischia. 

[youtube src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50ijcGQYD4g" style=""]Emilio Pucci[/youtube]

Marketing genius
Next to a great designer, Pucci was also a marketing genius. He expanded his brand by adding furniture, lingerie, eyewear, perfume and bed linnen to make his brand more accessible to a bigger group of consumers. He collaborated with many other brands, for example, he designed a complete interior for a luxurious car. 

Modern vision
After Pucci's death in 1980, his daughter Laudomia Pucci became involved in her fathers business. Later, in 2000, the company was partly bought by the LVMH group. With their expertise, the Pucci company could grow again. Pucci can be found in all over the world, in global fashion capitals. Massimo Giorgetti became creative director in 2015, maintaining keeping the spirit of Emilio alive in his designs.