“Emilio Pucci was born in 1914 to one of Florence’s oldest noble families, and would live and work in the Pucci Palace in Florence for much of his life. He was a keen sportsman, who swam, skied, fenced, played tennis and raced cars. At the age of 17 he travelled to Lake Placid as part of the Italian team at the 1932 Winter Olympics, but did not compete.
After two years at the University of Milan, he studied agriculture at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, where he became a member of the Demosthenian Literary Society. In 1935 he won a skiing scholarship to Reed College in Oregon, received an MA in social science from Reed in 1937, and was awarded his doctorate (laurea) in political science from the University of Florence the same year. In 1938 he joined the Italian Air Force, and served as a bomber pilot during WWII, rising to the rank of captain and decorated for valour by the time he left to pursue his fashion career.
The first clothes designed by Pucci were for the Reed College skiing team. But his designs came to wider attention in 1947, when he was on leave in Zermatt, Switzerland. Skiwear that he had designed for a female friend was photographed by Toni Frissell, a photographer working for Harper’s Bazaar.…Read More