Elisa (1918-2003). Italian journalist. Her father, Mario Massai, was a pilot and a celebrated aviation reporter for Corriere della Sera: he died on a job in the skies above French Morocco during the opening flight of the new Rome-Rio de Janeiro line. Elisa Massai was among the most important chroniclers of fashion, and closely followed the economic aspects of the sector. For a long period she was a correspondent for Womens Wear Daily and other Fairchild titles and, as such, was among the five journalists invited by Bista Giorgini to the baptism of Italian fashion in February 1951 in Florence. The others were Elsa Robiola, Misia Armani, Vera Rossi, and Sandra Bartolomei Corsi. She started to work in fashion by chance. She related: “In October 1949, I worked for the financial daily newspaper 24 Ore. One of my colleagues, Antonio Giordano, was a correspondent for the American Fairchild editorial group. Every now and then he sent in news and articles on financial and industrial issues. That day in October, he telephoned the director’s office of WWD: ‘We know that some American buyers are in Milan to buy dress patterns. It seems they are interested in Noberasco, Vanna, Fercioni, and Tizzoni.’ They wanted a feature describing what they had bought, what type of garments, and for how much. Giordano did not know where to start, he knew nothing about the world of fashion. He begged me to help him out. In fact, to take over the article myself. I toured the tailor’s ateliers and wrote the piece, which was printed on the front page. Immediately afterwards, Giorgini got in touch with me. She was already trying to get her project underway and the news that foreign buyers were hunting for new ideas in Italy suggested that the idea had some substance to it: the American market was ready to open up to fashions that provided an alternative, also in terms of price, to French dominance.” Together with Paolo Lombardi, Massai wrote a lengthy article on “The ready-made and haute couture knitwear industry from 1950 to 1980″ for the volume La Moda Italiana (Electa 1987) edited by Grazietta Butazzi and Alessandra Mottola Molfino.