emilio pucci

Emilio Pucci

Emilio Pucci is an Italian fashion house, founded in 1947 by the homonymous Neapolitan fashion designer.


  1. The Origins
  2. Pucci prints
  3. The success
    1. First catwalk
    2. Neiman Marcus Fashion Oscar
    3. Emilioform
    4. First Haute Couture collection
  4. Collaborations
  5. Laudomia Pucci
  6. Pucci acquired by LVMH
  7. Christian Lacroix
  8. 60th anniversary
  9. Exhibitions and events
  10. Creative Director: Massimo Giorgetti
  11. Current situation
  12. The new era of Pucci

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Emilio Pucci nel suo ufficio

The Origins

Emilio Pucci (1914-1992) is an Italian designer born in Naples, from a father of Russian extraction. After the studies in Social Sciences at the University of Athens, in Georgia, and then in Portland, Oregon, in 1938 he signed up as an officer in the Italian Air Force. Having continued his studies with a Doctorate in Political Sciences at Florence University, he fought courageously in World War II.

His introduction to fashion came about quite by chance in 1947, amidst the snow of Zermatt, where he was training with the Olympic ski team. Toni Frissell, a well-known photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, shot Pucci a female friend whom he had improvised a ski outfit for.

Emilio Pucci Improvising a Ski Outfit 1947
Emilio Pucci arranging a ski outfit, 1947.

A year later Pucci’s first collection of sportswear appeared on the cover of the same magazine. His outfits were bought up immediately by the department store Lord and Taylor and were given the label “Emilio” in the USA. The American market welcomed Pucci’s comfortable and practical fashion.

Pucci prints

Emilio Pucci Prints

Emilio Pucci was highly influenced by Sicilian mosaics, heraldic banners, Bali batiks and African motifs. Therefore, he invented a unique style, recognizable for its printed textiles, first stylized, then geometric. His use of color was incredible: it brought together shades in unforeseen combinations. His prints were designed to be shown off at their best when seen in motion on Pucci’s dynamically cut dresses.

The success

Emilio Pucci 1949 Beachwear Collection
Beachwear collection, Capri, 1949.

In 1949, he launched his first beachwear collection in Capri, based on black and white prints created by Guido Ravasi company, in Como. The collection was a success, so in 1950 Pucci decided to open a boutique on the Canzone del Mare at Marina Piccola. His clothes were cut and assembled in the family house in Florence, where he had set up a small workshop in order to cope with the influx of requests.

First catwalk

Emilio Pucci Runway at London 1957
1957 fashion show in London.

In 1951 his designs appeared in his first Italian fashion runway show, organized by Giovanni Battista Giorgini at Villa Torrrigiani, in Florence. The show was attended by America’s most important buyers. From then on, Pucci would be present at every Florentine fashion show until 1967, the year in which he began to show in his own building in via dei Pucci. 

Neiman Marcus Fashion Oscar

This range was big news on the international fashion stage, and won Pucci the 1954 Neiman Marcus Fashion Oscar for best designer of the year. Among his most famous there were the Siciliana collection in 1956, the one inspired by the Sienese Palio in 1956, and the one dedicated to Botticelli in 1959.


From the very beginning of his fashion career, Pucci was interested in experimenting with materials. In 1953, with Legler, he produced synthetic velvets for sports pants and, in the same year, he worked with cotton producers Valle Susa to create printed wally pliss. In 1954 Pucci made famous a new jersey made by a very thin silk organzine, thought for the production of lightweight, crease-proof clothing.

Emilio Pucci Emilioform

This was produced by Mabu of Solbiate and Boselli of Como and made out of very fine silk organza. In 1960 he patented a light, comfortable elastic fabric called Emilioform and composed of helanca synthetic fiber and shantung silk. With this fabric Pucci produced his Viva ski-pants and his famous outer-space style Capsule.

First Haute Couture collection

In 1962, having become increasingly influenced by the East, he produced his first haute couture collection. This was notable because of its rich fabrics and because of the workmanship of the embroidery, which included Swarovski crystals applied by hand to the palazzo pajamas which were already so much in vogue by that time.

Emilio Pucci 1967 Campaign
1967 advertising campaign.


In 1966 the first Pucci fragrance, Vivara, was launched, followed by Miss Zadig in 1974 and Pucci in 1977. Then, in 1968, he was involved in the creation of menswear, having signed an agreement with Ermenegildo Zegna. He invented the total look ahead of time, so he signed licenses on all sorts of accessories and other items; from lingerie with Formit, to porcelain with Rosenthal; from rugs with Dandolo Argentini to Parker pens. In 1971 he even designed the emblem for NASA’s Apollo 15 space mission. His clothes were sold in 51 countries.

Laudomia Pucci

Emilio Pucci With His Daughter Laudomia
Emilio Pucci and his daughter Laudomia.

In 1980, Pucci’s daughter Laudomia joined his design team and over her father’s business when he passed away, on 29th November 1992. In the early 2000s the movie Isn’t She Great? was released: there the famous American writer Jacqueline Susann, played by Bette Midler, is such a Pucci fanatic that she even has “Emilio” curtains in her pink study. She wears Pucci from head to toe, and even has a dog called “Pucci Poo”.

The fashion world cannot ignore Puccimania. Katell Le Bourhis, adviser to Bernard Arnault and responsible for the dress collection at the Metropolitan Museum, visited the archives at Palazzo Pucci and was struck by the profound influence of “Emilio” in the fashion world.

Pucci acquired by LVMH

In April 2000, Cristina and Laudomia Pucci di Barsento – owners of the prêt-à-porter label Emilio Pucci – signed an agreement with LVMH, which acquired 67% of the business: Arnault had listened to Le Bourhis’s advice. The Managing Director of LVMH was the young Catherine Vautrin, who had been on the board since 1998; Laudomia Pucci continued to co-ordinate design and brand policy, whilst the production side of the business was incorporated into the Fashion and Leather division of the Arnault Group, chaired by Yves Carcelle.

Christian Lacroix

In April 2002 Christian Lacroix was appointed Creative Director of Emilio Pucci. Nobody, possibly, other than the arlésien with his Mediterranean spirit, could better take on the legacy of the Prince of prints. Thanks to Lacroix, the shades and combinations of colors of the fashion of an innovative and gifted artist lived on. Pucci’s exuberant, optimistic and at the same time highly glamorous vision of life was to be seen both in his ready-to-wear and beachwear collections.

Emilio Pucci Christian Lacroix Spring/Summer 2006
Matthew Williamson, 2006 Spring/Summer collection

Matthew Williamson, new Creative Director since 2005, included the prints that made Emilio Pucci famous during the ’50s and ’60s in Spring/Summer 2006 collection. He reinterpreted them in a modern key on shorter dresses, with more sharp and geometric lines. In the same year, the maison Emilio Pucci worked with Omas to create a ballpoint pen in three limited versions, creating an elegant perfect pen for writing thanks to the fantasies created by the fashion house.

60th anniversary

In 2007, the maison celebrated its sixty years of activity: that year the fashion house launched an ephemeral make-up collection, resulting from a partnership with Guerlain, and a new version of  the Vivara fragrance, originally created in 1964. A year later, in 2008, the brand opened an online store.

Emilio Pucci Peter Dundas 2011 Fall/Winter Collection
Peter Dundas, 2011/2012 Fall/Winter collection.

In 2009 Matthew Williamson left Pucci and Peter Dundas became the new Creative Director. His style is recognizable from cuts, colors, details and prints enhancing the female silhouette. Later, in 2013, new boutiques opened in Italy and the maison planned to open other ones globally, in the main fashion capitals. After the ownership of LVMH, Pucci planned to step out to seek and join the big boys club of the luxury apparel labels.

Exhibitions and events

From 5th April to 27th July 2014, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London organized an exhibition on the birth of Italian fashion brands, celebrating the case of Emilio Pucci too. Furthermore, the maison participated to a LuisaViaRoma and Adidas charity project, customizing the FIFA ball for the World Cup.Then, in 2014, during Pitti Immagine Uomo, Vogue Italia organized an event to celebrate Italian designers from Florence, where the name of Emilio Pucci was celebrated with shots from the Vogue Italia archives. Moreover. Emilio Pucci created the Monumental Pucci installation, featuring an iconic print depicting the Baptistery of Florence.

Creative Director: Massimo Giorgetti

In April 2015 Massimo Giorgetti was appointed Creative Director of the brand: he is the young and talented founder of the brand MSGM. He was chosen in order to create a new future for the brand, with a pop soul an the tradition of quality.

Emilio Pucci Massimo Giorgetti 2016 Spring/Summer Collection
Massimo Giorgetti, 2016 Spring/Summer collection.

On 24th August 2016 an earthquake messed up central Italy, so many celebrities came together to support those affected by the disaster. The event Support from Fashion, in support of the citizens of Amatrice, was organized in Florence: Pucci and other fashion designers put some of their creations for auction to donate the proceeds to the earthquake victims. Still in 2016, Emilio Pucci and Illy come together to create a collection of coffee cups, nowadays part of the Illy Art Collection series, which includes hand-drawn exclusive prints, depicting landscapes dedicated to Florence, Milan, and New York.

Current situation

Emilio Pucci Boutique in Seoul, Korea
Boutique Pucci in Seoul, Korea.

In April 2017, to tribute the 50th year of Componibili designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri, Pucci started a partnership with Kartell: together they designed a special version of this iconic storage modules by using brand’s archive print Campanule, which fully represents the spirit of Emilio Pucci.

At the same time, to strengthen brand’s presence in Asia market,  the company opened a new boutique in Korea, located in the Galleria East Luxury Hall in Seoul. With the new opening Emilio Pucci reached a consolidated presence not only in the main fashion capitals, but also in Asia, operates in major cities like Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Tokyo, and Beijing. 

The new era of Pucci

In Summer 2021 the acquisition of the brand by LVMH was completed: the 33 % of shares owned by Laudomia Pucci moved to the holding leaded by Bernard Arnault and the Creative Direction was entrusted to Camille Miceli, fashion designer who already worked for Chanel, Azzedine Alaïa and Louis Vuitton.

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