Via de' Pucci 6
Emilio Pucci didn’t set out aspiring to create clothing. Born as part of a noble family in Florence, he spent his childhood learning to play tennis and race cars. A happenstance with a photographer on the slopes in Zermatt, Switzerland started a career that would put him on the map in the design world.
The first collection from Emilio Pucci was ski clothes. Emilio drafted a ski outfit for a friend to wear. When a Harper Bazaar photographer took notice, Pucci designs were suddenly an international craze. In 1948, Pucci produced a line of swimwear using the same stretch fabric that caught the public’s attention on the ski slopes. That year, he would also develop his signature style using bright, vivid patterns. The two design components, bold patterns and stretch fabric, make up the Pucci look even today.
As Pucci’s designs become more popular, his business interests thrived, as well. He opened his second boutique in Rome just a couple of years after getting his picture taken in Switzerland.
Pucci is a favorite among the trendsetting crowd. As far back as the 1950s, starlets from all over the world sported Pucci exclusive designs including Sophia Loren, Jackie Kennedy. In 1962, Marilyn Monroe was buried in one of her favorite Pucci dresses. All of Pucci’s design properties were European until 1959. While putting together his first lingerie line, Emilio began a relationship with American company Formfit-Rogers mills, which specializes in the stretch fabrics.
Pucci fashion went beyond Hollywood and Rome. From 1965 to 1977, he designed uniform fashions for Braniff International Airways. The company wanted to add style to their public persona. He even helped develop the three-bird motif for the mission patch of Apollo 15.
Today, Emilio’s daughter Laudomia runs Pucci. She carries on the tradition of bold stripes and vibrant colors. You find the distinct style of Pucci at high-line department stores and in boutiques carrying the designer’s name. Pucci collections include women’s and men’s fashions plus trendy accessories such as carrying cases for PlayStations.
Stretch fabrics, bold geometrics and bright swirls are all looks associated with this pioneer in fashion design. From a chance encounter on the slopes of Switzerland to an internationally recognized icon, the Pucci line continues to grow even decades after his death.