Design by Emilio Pucci
Rising out of the ashes of European fashion after World War II, Emilio Pucci brought a spectrum of carefree colors to the rationed continent. His sportswear beginnings lent a casual air to his work, a welcome relief from recent austerity and a new meaning to the term "resort wear." The swirling freestyle patterns and fluid fabrics he used became internationally recognized and desired, copied by many but rivaled by few.
Pucci with his models
In 1950 Emilio Pucci opened his own couture house in Florence, increasingly gaining attention for colorful casual clothing. His clothes became highly fashionable on both sides of the Atlantic from the mid-1950s, with the establishment of a shop on Fifth Avenue, New York, and featured in Vogue.
From 1964 to 1973 he also served as a Member of Parliament for Florence, a period which saw the emergence of a new, less elitist generation of Milan-based Italian designers such as Armani and Versace.
Born to an illustrious Florentine family in 1914, Pucci became a gentleman athlete, flew a bomber in the war and gained a reputation as a notorious lover and dashing adventurer. He also created his own line of softer undergarments to go with them. He believed in casualness not carelessness.
Vintage Pucci slip
Known as the “Prince of Prints,” Pucci designed slacks, shirts and dresses in vivid and startling color combinations. By urging chemical companies to develop a broader range of vibrant hues, Pucci created a kaleidoscope that had not been possible before.
His wild geometrics and multi-colored flowing designs replaced the staid, tame prints that had been more typical during the war. Pucci drew the hundreds of print designs for each collection himself, and he signed all of his creations with “Emilio,” from clothing to carpets, from the Apollo 15 space mission logo to a Ford Lincoln Continental.
It was Pucci’s combination of elegance and excitement that resulted in his tremendous success. His designs were worn by countless celebrities, such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Grace Kelly.
Pucci died in 1992, at the age 78. However Emilio Pucci lives on, under the guidance of his daughter and image director, Laudomia Pucci, and artistic director Christian Lacroix. Timeless are the creations of Pucci.