Ballard, Bettina

Ballard, Bettina (1906-2015). Journalist. During the 1950s she was editor-in-chief of Vogue America. She also worked with Harper’s Bazaar.

Ballard, Bettina (1906-2015). Journalist. During the 1950s she was editor-in-chief of Vogue America. She also wrote a memoir called In My Fashion. Italian fashion owes her a great deal, as it also owes to Carmel Snow of Harper’s Bazaar, Sally Kirkland of Life, Eugene Sheppard and Hebe Dorsey of the New York Herald Tribune, Fay Hammond of the Los Angeles Times, Nancy White of Life, and Matilde Taylor (she was a supporter of the correspondent Elisa Massai) of Women’s Wear Daily which, in the season of the first presentations, supported it enthusiastically.

Ballard
Bettina Ballard and John Rawlings (photographer).

Ballard in the 50s

In February 1951, a few days after the first shows in Florence which gave Made in Italy its start, and at which only five Italian journalists appeared, Giovanni Battista Giorgini, the organizer, received this letter from Bettina Ballard. “Actually your event was too close to the French collections to allow me to leave Paris. But I received excellent news from Jessica and Franco of Bergdorf Goodman and from Cole of Leto Chon Balbo. They all seem very interested in Italy, and Vogue is too. I’m sure that we will do something together very soon.” That “soon” came quickly.

On July 19th of the same year, Ballard sat in the first row at the Grand Hotel in Florence. It was for the second Italian High Fashion Show.

In her memoir, she commented on the success of Italian clothing remembering her time in Rome as a Red Cross nurse right after World War II: “When I saw those aristocratic ladies in Rome wearing dresses that were from before the war but made of flowered silk, with sandals like those worn by friars or else that were jewel-shaped, with large, fringed straw hats, I, who was dressed in the latest Paris fashion, felt very out of fashion. The victory of the Italian style was determined, indeed, by its imagination, by the inspiration of a fashion not made for special occasions, and not for the liturgy, but a fashion inspired by the Mediterranean and by living in its light and midst its colors.”

The journalist passed away on March 2, 2015, aged 90.

It might also interest you:

Abbe, James

Armani, Misia

Armani Misia (1905-1994). Italian journalist. Armani Misia was among the first, in the 1930s, to have her own fashion column in L’Illustrazione Italiana.

Armani Misia (1905-1994). Italian journalist. Armani Misia was among the first, in the 1930s, to have her own fashion column in a prestigious weekly, L’Illustrazione Italiana. She later worked on the magazines Metropoli and Il Mondo Tessile. Then in 1947 she moved to I Tessili Nuovi.  In 1950 I Tessili Nuovi accepted her suggestion and changed its name to Linea.

Misia, in 1962, with the help of colleagues such as Vera Rossi and Elsa Robiola, she created the Premio Critica della Moda award given by Italian journalists. In 1966 she was among the founders of Linea Italiana, the magazine of the Centro Italiano della Moda (Italian Fashion Centrer). Later it was absorbed by Mondadori and became the official magazine of Italian fashion. She was born in Pavia, but spent her life and career in Milan.

It might also interest you: 

Ajour

Alfonsi, Maria Vittoria

Alfonsi Maria Vittoria (1929). Journalist and writer, she began her career working for the magazines Mamme e Bimbi, Marie Claire and Bellezza.

Alfonsi Maria Vittoria (1929). Journalist and writer, she began her career working for the magazines Mamme e Bimbi, Marie Claire and Bellezza. She wrote a woman’s column for several newspapers such as La Gazzetta di Mantova, la Gazzetta del Sud and Giornale di Sicilia.

She worked closely with the television networks. Starting with the programe Personalità (RAI) directed by Mila Contini and, from 1973 to 1983, directing and hosting Parliamo di Moda e Speciale Donna (TVR-Rete 4). As a correspondent, she has followed the world of fashion since 1959, with brilliant reporting and a vast knowledge of the field. She was the fashion editor for L’Arena di Verona and Il Giornale di Vicenza. She kept working for those newspapers as a correspondent, reporting on the fashion shows and contributing to the culture pages.

alfonsi
Maria Vittoria Alfonsi collects the certificate of gratitude from the city of Verona.

Alfonsi’s collection

In 2001 she donated her personal Collection of clothes, newspapers, magazines, books, photographs and videos documenting the fashion of the 20th century to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna di Roma (National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome) to be displayed in the rooms of the Museo Boncompagni Ludovisi.

In her collection we could find clothes by Giuseppe Cometti, Ennio Castellani, Adriana Castelli, Franca Lainati from the 50s. Then for the high fashion of the sixties, seventies and eighties we could find paces signed by Enzo, Germana Marucelli, Valentino, Sarli, Raniero Gattinoni. Also the prêt-à-porter of Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferrè, Roberta di Camerino, Krizia, Laura Biagiotti, and Fendi.  

Alfonsi books and achievements

Her books include I grandi personaggi della moda (Cappelli Editore, 1974) and Donne al vertice (Cappelli, 1983). Furthermore she wrote Questo è il made in Italy, ovvero la moda dietro la vetrina (1986), A tavola con... Stile, and Figli d’arte? No, grazie.

One of the latest books by Maria Vittoria Alfonsi is entitled Fruscio di sete, puntine di spillo. Sessant’anni e passa fra moda e dintorni. Here she recounts the debut and success of great stylists and designers, the places, events, celebrities she has met since the beginning. She then wrote, in 2019, “Gianfranco Ferré. The stylist architect”.

In 2011 the Boncompagni Ludovisi Museum in Rome dedicated an exhibition to her. Seven years later, in 2018, the city of Verona awarded the journalist a certificate for “to commemorate the career of one of the most important names in fashion journalism”.

Additionally Alfonsi Maria Vittoria became a golden pen.

It might also interest you: 

Armillei, Alba

Alberti, Antonio

Alberti Antonio (1927-1986). Journalist and historic editor of the magazine Amica, at the time owned by the Crespi brothers

Alberti Antonio (1927-1986). Journalist and historic editor of the magazine Amica, at the time owned by the Crespi brothers, who were also the owners of the newspaper Corriere della Sera. He directed the woman’s weekly with energy and imagination from 1964 to 1972, the year in which he left in order to direct an afternoon paper, the Corriere di Informazione, at a moment that was very difficult for the newspaper itself and for the publishing house.

Antonio ended his stay there long before the closing of the paper in 1979-1980. Together with Guglielmo Zucconi and the editor Caprotti, in 1974 he tried to relaunch the weekly Tempo. It was a fruitless attempt both for him and his successor Lino Jannuzzi. Alberti died prematurely a few years later.

It might also interest you:

Alain-Bernard, Catherine

Alain-Bernard, Catherine

Alain-Bernard Catherine (1944-2016). French journalist. In January 1992 she became director of the monthly magazine Dépèche Mode.

Alain-Bernard Catherine (1944-2016). French journalist. In January 1992 she became director of the monthly magazine Dépèche Mode, changing both the content and its appearance. She updated the layout and reduced the cover price, dedicating 50% of its pages exclusively to fashion and limiting coverage of the news.

Alain-Bernard
Dépèche mode.

Alain-Bernard began her career in 1967, working for several magazines, including Mademoiselle. Furthermore in 1972 Elisabeth Bernigaud appointed her chief-editor of Dépèche Mode Professionel. Four years later, the two of them created Dépèche Mode Grand Public, which they directed together. From 1977 to 1991 she worked with Elle, Madame Figaro and Nouveau Figaro.
Catherine died on January 1, 2016 from cancer at the age of 71.

It might also interest you: 

Io Donna