FASHION FLASHBACK: EMILIO PUCCI LIFE Magazine photo by David Lees 1960, Pucci in his studio.

Emilio Pucci signing his signature print fabric in his workrooms.

Emilio Pucci visited the Chicago Saks Fifth Avenue store on several occasions.  We always did a formal show for a charity group (most of our shows were to benefit the many worthy organizations in Chicago, over the years we helped raise millions of dollars, who says fashion shows are fluff!!!???)  I found Sr. Pucci to be beyond charming, a delight to work with and a great conversationalist.  His talent, of course, goes without saying and his creations had a unique look.  His clothes were always very wearable, packed like a dream and were totally timeless.

A bit about him, the following taken from the Pucci website:

“Born in 1914 to one of Florence’s most illustrious families, the Marquis Emilio Pucci di Barsento naturally embodied the jet set glamour of post-war Italy. Multilingual, well-travelled, American-educated, air force pilot, Olympic skier and aristocrat – he was a Renaissance man in every sense of the term. Recovering in Switzerland after the war, and with the Italian economy in ruins, Pucci made ends meet by teaching Italian and giving ski lessons in Zermatt. It was there that in 1947 a streamlined ski outfit he designed, initially for himself and then for his enthusiastic socialite friends was photographed by a fashion photographer and published in Harper’s Bazaar USA, giving rise to a fashion phenomenon that continues to reverberate to this day.” credit unknown.

I like to think that Adam Gimbel, President of Saks Fifth Avenue, built his famous ski slope in the Fifth Avenue flagship store to honor Pucci (probably not but it sounds good, don’t you agree!!!)  They would have been in the same social circles and Mr. Gimbel, one of the most imaginative of the Merchant Princes, was always finding new ways to “market” his illustrious brand as well as highlighting all the major designers, of course that included his wife the incedible Sophie of Saks (I did her profile several weeks ago). That has always been a Saks signature.

Pucci is credited with the Capri pant, the dinner pajama and was the first to do an eclectic mix of color in his original signature prints…a precursor to op prints’s photo credit unknown.

The dinner pajama as a jumpsuit. Photo credit unknown

What I love about the Italian fashion industry  (other than its beauty, of course) is that they are dynastic with few exceptions.  This is true of the Pucci brand which has been carried on by his daughter, Laudomia.

More intel from the Pucci website ….”In the 1980s Emilio’s daughter, Laudomia Pucci, became increasingly more involved in her father’s business, ultimately taking the reins following his passing in 1992. In April 2000, an alliance was formed between the Pucci family and LVMH, with the French luxury group acquiring 67% of the company and the family retaining a vested interest. With the Group’s financial support and expertise the brand has soared on the international fashion stage and in a relatively short time has built up a global network that now includes over 50 boutiques in global fashion capitals and a footprint in the world’s foremost luxury retailers.”

ivon_photos_0028Here I am with an unknown gentleman holding one of my Pucci dresses, proabably early to mid 1960’s. It is shades of yellow and green. It had a matching chiffon scarf, (the dress is silk matte jersey) which I still own. Don’t you love the print against print, oh my!  The outfit I have on is from Adolfo’s first ready-to-wear collection.  Both the Pucci dress and Adolfo costume, there is a navy wool 3/4 jacket trimmed in the same print, are in the Fashion Study Collection at Columbia College Chicago. Please take note of the curls and the really hateful shoes!!!  Was I ever that young!!!! Photo credit unknown. Photo courtesy of the Nena Ivon Collection in the Columbia College Chicago Archives. Pucci at a fitting of his collection.  Photo credit unknown.

My favorites were the beaded gowns.  This one is delicately embellished at the deep plunge neckline.  Photo from lst Dibs.

Here an example of an all over beaded gown. Photo credit unknown. of the cloth covers of the Pucci limited edition book.

imageA monograph on the designer from a series from Assouline.


  1. Shelley Farley January 13, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    Nina on my way to LA… Just wanted to let you know the blog is wonderful!

    Sent from my iPhone


    • nenasnotes January 13, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Thanks so much Shelley. I’m having a lot of fun with it. Hugs, Nena

  2. Courtney Hopkins January 13, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    Such a fun post! Fashion Flashback is my favorite.

    • nenasnotes January 13, 2017 / 10:20 pm

      Thanks Courtney. Would hope you would find the rest of the week of interest. Need more followers pass the word if you would!! I’ll look forward to seeing you soon. N

  3. Tom Mantel January 14, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    I always loved the Pucci prints. Great photographs!

    • nenasnotes January 14, 2017 / 1:25 pm

      Thanks so much. Yes, I always loved his prints and his sense of color.

  4. Karen Ryan January 14, 2017 / 1:52 pm

    Fabulous! I love Pucci!

  5. jean neal January 15, 2017 / 10:44 pm

    What a fun read…brought back memories of my interview with him in Florence…charming, gracious and generous to a very young journalist. I still wear a scarf that was his gift. Jean Neal

    • nenasnotes January 16, 2017 / 12:34 am

      Thanks Jean. I hope all is good with you.

  6. Jenny Sendrey June 6, 2018 / 9:43 am

    Can anyone here PLEASE tell me where his fashion house ( showroom) was in chicago in the 1960’s?

    • nenasnotes June 6, 2018 / 11:52 am

      As far as I know Emilio Pucci did not have a showroom in Chicsho he was based in Italy and Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago. If you are thinking of the men’s wear company Pucci, it was located at 333 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago…hope that helps you. Lawrence Pucci was the owner.

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