Leading company in the production of knitwear fabrics. It started out as Dondi Jersey in the early 1970s in Fossoli, Modena because of the intuition and passion for knitwear of Edda and Lauro Dondi. They are now supported by their children Lorella, with her husband Guido Capelli, and Stefano Dondi. The company transformed into the Dondi Group in the 1980s. The Group distinguishes itself in excellent and unique creativity, a result of deep experience together with research and experimentation with avant-garde technologies. The entire productive cycle takes place within the company from design to distribution, according to a philosophy of superior global quality that involves every department, from the styling office to the employees and sales. There are four lines: Dondi Jersey, Punto Tessile, All Over, and the recent addition, Tecno&Logico for high performance of comfort and functionality. The company is in close contact with the greatest Italian and international designers. Its Collections, visible also in the Milanese showroom in Foro Bonaparte, are presented at the principal fairs such as Première Vision, Moda In, and Ideacomo.
Giancarlo. Fashion entrepreneur. During the 1960s he interrupted his architecture studies to become the business partner of the designer Valentino. He quickly made a reputation for himself as the creator of the brand’s worldwide success, and also as an innovator in the fashion industry. He launched the concept of prêt-à-porter in Italy, promotes the use of license agreements for the distribution of branded products, understood the importance of an advertising strategy, and invited the great photographers to collaborate with fashion, inventing the advertising groupage. He was the first to understand the importance of communication and popularized Valentino’s universe as the artistic expression of a great couturier and also as a well-developed network of creativity, affirming himself as a “designer in the shadow of another designer.” In the 1990s he established, together with the designer, the Accademia Valentino. He also signed the first collaborative agreement between a government entity and the fashion industry, through an understanding with the municipality of Rome providing for events at the Accademia Valentino intended to relaunch the cultural prestige of the city. With Valentino, he also founded the association L.I.F.E. (Lottare, Informare, Formare, Educare, or Fight, Inform, Form, Educate) to help children with AIDS. Predicting the challenges of the 21st century and the difficulties that the large fashion houses would have in attempting to assure their continuity on their own, he strengthened the competitiveness of the Valentino brand in the world markets by signing, in 1998, the first agreement in Italy between fashion and finance, with the incorporation of the HDP Group (Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali, S.p.A., or Holding Company of Industrial Shares), with Maurizio Romiti as general manager. Through this operation, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, with no direct heirs, guaranteed the creative continuity of the griffe they created.
Silvana (1939). Journalist. She edited the magazine Gioia for twenty years. After working at RAI (the Italian State TV), she came to print journalism in the 1970s to be the director of Eva Express, published by Edilio Rusconi. In 1974, she went to Gioia, which she led until 1994. Under her editorship, supplements such as Salute & Bellezza (Health & Beauty) and Gioia Casa (Gioia Houselhold) came out. In the meantime, she followed, as editorial director, the fates of Rakam and Spazio Casa. In 1994, she was called to Segrate by Ernesto Mauri, who at the time was editorial director of Mondadori periodicals, to launch Chi, a new weekly of news and the jet set, to immense success. In 1999, she published the book Un bacio nel buio (Mondadori) and in 2001 Celebrità.
Silvia (1957). Designer, born in Milan. She has a degree in the History of Art and has worked with one of the most prestigious firms in fabric decoration in New York. She considers herself an artisan who knows all the techniques, which allows her to manufacture fabrics that she turns into stoles, scarves, and, since 2002, articles of clothing. Her Collections always consist of just a few pieces which are almost one of a kind.
Purification (1952). Spanish designer and brand of prêt-à-porter. After a long apprenticeship in Uruguay dedicated to knitwear and accessories design, she presented her first Collection in Barcelona in 1981, distinguishing herself especially with evening wear.
The leading fashion magazine in Paris in the pre- and post-World War I years, La Gazette du Bon Ton was founded by Lucien Vogel and published by the Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts from 1912 to 1925. Innovative in both its artwork and writing, the Gazette featured stunning color fashion illustrations obtained by the pochoir technique, a pre-cursor to silk screening. Artists such as Leon Bakst, Georges Barbier, and André Marty were behind the stunning Art Deco fashion illustrations, many of which are currently in the hands of collectors and art museums, while its writers included Marcel Astruc, Tristan Bernard, Raymond Radiguet and Jean Cocteau. In 1925 Condé Nast purchased the magazine and merged it with Vogue.
Nathalie. Canadian designer from Quebec. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and at the Esmod in Paris. She started her career designing for brands such as Saks and Neiman Marcus, and later for Gucci. Valentino appointed her director of the Diffusione line. In 1998, she designed her first Collection for Nina Ricci.
Elvira. Wedding designer. She started her career in Naples, transforming a silk parachute, found in the countryside in the immediate post-war period, into a fairytale bridal dress. It is a brand that reaches as far as Beijing and Shanghai, where Chinese models don western-style bridal dresses for the first time. Her accuracy to detail and traditional manufacturing characterize her designs.
&Quad;2002, April. To celebrate 50 years of activity, the Elvira Gramano atelier opened a new boutique in Rome inside the mall of Cinecittà Due, where the new boutique and ready-to-wear lines were proposed. The Gramano griffe is now managed by Elvira’s son, Giuseppe, who also proposes the high fashion Collection in the atelier in Via XX Settembre. For a long time, the dressmaker’s workshop has been employing a staff of designers selected through scholarships offered to the best students of the specialized schools around the world.
Brand and streetwear company based in Amsterdam. The military inspiration pants of the company were introduced in the American market in 1998. They are characterized by a particular manufacturing technique that sees the use of torn cotton. In January 2003 the company was among the exhibitors at the 64th edition of Pitti Immagine. G-Star now has a branch office in New York and a showroom in Los Angeles. Penetration has also been strong in the Far East and in Germany, where there are five showrooms in total. G-Star Italy has its head office in Genoa.
Sofia. Academic specializing in the history of costume and fashion. She is professor at the European Institute of Design of Rome and collaborates with the faculty of sociology of the University of Urbino. She is the author of the volumes Cento anni di stile sul grande schermo (Zephiro, 1995) and La donna, l’eleganza e il fascino (Edizioni Del Prisma, 2000), a study based on archived documents, magazines of the period and living testimonies, which focuses on the birth of Italian fashion between the two World Wars.