The SACI community mourns the passing of Milanese fashion designer, Elio Fiorucci, which took place yesterday at age 80.
Fiorucci was a member of the SACI Artists Council and in 2010, SACI proudly hosted him for an interview and exhibition of his fashion designs, presented in the famous photographs by Oliviero Toscani in the SACI Gallery, curated by Laura Villani. See images below of the event.
Elio Fiorucci was the inventor of fashion jeans, and in an amusing “pop-art” style, he created a revolutionary transformation process of jeans from clothing worn for work into one of the most loved items of clothing items ever. He has been one of the biggest protagonists of fashion for decades, after launching his eponymous label in 1967 in Milan. In 1972, availing himself of Valentino’s model-maker Mario Morelli, he decided to modify jeans which were, at the time, primarily worn only in the workplace. By washing, softening and fading the denim, he created an item of clothing modeled for the first time upon the body – fashion jeans. With 1,200,000 Fiorucci jeans sold, trousers had been transformed into an item to be worn at all times and in every occasion, one that was even capable of substituting fancy clothing if combined with the right accessories.
Yet after transforming jeans into a cult object, Fiorucci wanted to make them even more adherent; thus when Du Pont launched Lycra he had the idea to mix it with the denim to make the item even more seductive, and therefore invented the first fashion stretch jeans. In 1985 Elio Fiorucci, by then the officially recognized “King of Jeans,” signed the Italian licensing deal with historical USA jeans brand Wrangler. In 1984 he collaborated with Vivienne Westwood on the creation of a new jeans model. In 1987, alongside Jean-Paul Gaultier, he produced the Jean-Paul Gaultier Junior Collection, destined to become hugely successful on a global scale. In 2004 Elio Fiorucci launched a jeans collection called Ergonomicsexyjeans, designed to perfectly adhere to women’s bodies, revealing their beauty.
The history of fashion jeans contributed to the construction of the Made in Italy myth, just as Fiorucci’s professional career did – from the introduction of miniskirts to lamè bikinis, from Fiorucci fashion stretch jeans to his famous T-shirts, or the wise dwarf of Love Therapy. Fiorucci’s professional itinerary was entwined with diverse dimensions of creativity and with some of the most celebrated art-world personalities of the last forty years including pop-icon figures Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Madonna.