Alexandra (1963). Fashion designer. After studying in Oxford and London, she moved to Sidney and then to Singapore, where she had her first experiences in the world of fashion. But it was in Rome, in 1992, that her career really started, when she designed an entire collection of men’s ties and accessories for Fausto Sarli. In 1993, she began to do research on new technologies as applied to natural fibers, and in 1996, in collaboration with DuPont, she manufactured button-neck shirts and T-“shirts in anti-stain silk and cotton under the brand AX Alexandra Fede. Also in 1996, she moved her atelier to Piazza di Spagna. She devotes herself to high fashion, manufactured with anti-crease fabrics, that are shrink-free in the washing machine. In 1998, she launched Stressless, a yarn containing trilobate carbon, used for total protection from electromagnetic waves and to facilitate the dissipation of electromagnetic fields from the body through a complex process of ionization. Also in 1998, in July, at Alta Moda for the Autumn-Winter 1998-1999 season, she presented her Gold Dress. It was manufactured using Mitsubishi technology that came from the space program, and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. In January 1999, at Pitti Immagine Uomo, she presented her Anti-Violence Collection, made with bullet-proof fabric. In 2001, she received a degree in the Technology of Advanced Fibers in St. Louis, Missouri, and helped further the historic preservation of more than 6,000 costumes from La Scala. In 2002, DuPont asked her to create the BodySculptor collection, for which she used fibers such as Lycra and Tactel, cut in innovative ways. In November 2003, in Paris, she organized the Wear Hi-Tech Fashion Show, an event dedicated to “intelligent” clothing.

Franµois Villon

French shoe brand launched in 1960 by Franµois Villon de Benveniste. Princess Grace of Monaco, Farah Diba, Maria Callas, Rita Hayworth, Chanel, Jackie Onassis, Marlene Dietrich, Liz Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Catherine Deneuve, Jane Fonda, Mia Farrow, and Faye Dunaway (the list could continue) were all literally seduced by him. After obtaining a law degree, F.V.d.B. initially worked in the family’s perfume business in Grasse. Called by Perugia, a famous name in shoe manufacturing, he became acquainted what a type of production that was clearly handmade and discovered a real inclination for this kind of accessory. In 1960, he started his own business at number 27 Faubourg Saint Honoré. His specific intent was to apply the principles of the custom made shoe to large scale production. His creations, all manufactured in Italy, distinguish themselves for their refinement of line, the quality of their materials, and the preciousness of details. Very soon, Villon’s shoes made their appearance on runways accompanying the collections of Hermès, Féraud, Chanel, Ted Lapidus, Patou, Nina Ricci, and Lanvin, and were soon distributed in boutiques all over the world. His boots for daytime, evening, and riding became famous, as did his urban cowboy boots, his flats, and his sabots.


Gilbert (1924). Parisian tailor, born in Oran, Algeria. Starting in the 1950s he dressed painters and artists such as Arman, Klein, and Fautrier. He was the first to launch a collar à la Mao Ze Dong in a tailored version.


Alberto (1910-1987). Italian tailor and designer, born in Rome. His talent was foretold, as he was the son of tailors from near Tivoli whose work was already famous in the early 1900s. He was educated in the use of scissors at a very young age. After his schooling, he went to Paris and various ateliers in order to learn about fashion. Once back in Italy, he opened his own atelier, first on via Frattina and then on via Condotti. His garments are unmistakable, especially the jackets, which Fabiani’s tailoring skills endowed with great class. He was part of the by now historic group of designers (nine for high fashion and four for prêt-à-porter) who in February 1951 accepted the invitation of Bista Giorgini to present to American buyers Italian clothes that were free of the subjection of French fashion, and presented a collection in the sitting-room of his Florentine villa. Simonetta Colonna di Cesarò, who in 1952 became his wife and participated on that revolutionary day as an independent designer, says in her book La Sala Bianca — Nascita della Moda Italiana (‘The Sala Bianca — The Birth of Italian Fashion’): “I convinced Alberto, I almost forced him. He was reluctant. Thanks to French fashions, he had acquired a rich and numerous clientele. It was understandable that he was doubtful, but my prodding made his fortune. He became the true, great figure of the Italian look. He was an extraordinary artisan, one of the rare designers who knew how to make his own models in cloth.” Fabiani and Simonetta were among the first to leave Florence in favor of their own Roman ateliers. “One day we told each other that Rome was as good as Florence, that we could be in our own house, that everyone had a right to a stage for himself, instead of that group presentation. Individualism is a typical Italian weakness,” remembers Simonetta. Some years later, Fabiani left Rome for Paris. He came back to Italy after 1970, and, as a consultant to several clothing manufacturers, he continued to work until his death. Among his collaborators were Forquet and, for men’s fashion, Elio Costanzi. In 1960, his book Stracci (‘Rags’) was published.


Anne (1919-1981). American designer. Born in Pittsburg, she was among the first to design bikinis. She became famous especially for her paper doll: a model characterized by a bustier with gathered running stitches, a very deep neckline and an extremely rich and carefully worked skirt. Her first job as a designer was in 1948 at the Youth Guild Inc., where she specialized in clothing for teenagers. But it was in 1957 that Saks Fifth Avenue in New York presented the collection that gave her her first real success.


French maison established in 1935 by Madeleine Vramant and the American France Obré. They had met in Mainbocher, where Vramant worked as a designer and Obré as a sales assistant. The partnership didn’t last long, and each started a separate business. They retired almost simultaneously in the mid 1950s.


A term that derives from El Fustat, a suburb of Cairo, where this fabric originated. Made of very resistant and compact cotton, with a velvety and slightly hairy surface, it is similar to suede. There are several varieties, of different weights. Used especially for jackets, skirts, and trousers, it was in vogue during the 1970s.

Fox Skin

This term is used to describe fox fur, with its long, dense, soft hair. There is red, black, white, and beige fox fur, as well as fox furs dyed in artificial colors. But the fox skin par excellence is the silver or blue fox, the most chic, though it has now passed a little from fashion, even though we can remember full length fox fur capes draped over the shoulders of the divas of Hollywood, symbols of the luxury of the 1930s. There was also the entire fox, embalmed, with head, tail, paws, and glass eyes, worn around the collar of suits between the World Wars.


Giuseppe (1976). Italian designer. In 2001, after graduating from the Academy of Costume and Fashion in Rome, he participated in the Fashion Garden art exhibit organized by Maria Campitelli (Group ’68) in Tigeste, and worked in the style department of Alberta Ferretti. In 2002, he worked as a freelancer on the Tuttocachemire knitwear line, and, for a short time with the product department of BVM Italy-les Copains. In that same year, he made a successful début with a mini collection at Alta Moda in Rome. In January 2003, he received the Irene Brin prize for fashion. Also in 2003, he worked in the style department of Antonio Marras.


Daniel (1956). Son and grandson of textile entrepreneurs. After studying political science and working for two years as a journalist, he decided to enter the family business and to create men’s clothing. In 1983, his group acquired the maison Jacques Fath in order to relaunch the brand. Faret managed it from 1986 to 1991. He sold his shares in 1993, ready, the following year, to offer the Daniel Faret Collection, a new line of urban clothing for young people. It was for these collections that he received the Oscar of Textiles in the Designer category in 1997.
&Quad;2003, January. He is asked to work on the launch of the new La Perla prêt-à-porter for the Spring-Summer 2004 collection.