Bidding farewell to Elio Fiorucci, or is he really gone?

In manufacturing he created a true revolt in the jeans segment by means of cutting denims in voluptuous curves that caressed feminine bodies creating an instant sex appeal.

Beatrice Rangel. 30/07/2015
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Elio Fiorucci (Photo: ThisIsItaly)

On July 19, fashion icons,  fashionistas and designers alike bid farewell to Elio Fiorucci the unsung leader of the most important revolution in fashion and retail since Christian Dior  launched his famous catwalk in the 1950s. Fiorucci truly was a revolutionary genius who saw in the merge of entertainment and fashion the new way to go in retail. Innovation was his best trade that he practiced throughout  the value chain.

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Fiorucci designs

In manufacturing he created a true revolt in the jeans segment by means of cutting denims in voluptuous curves that caressed feminine bodies creating an instant sex appeal. He then added to those cuts materials made out of elastic fibers, linen  and cotton.

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Fiorucci Jeans

The result was sexy stretch jeans that sent Levis and Co riling back to designing board. In the late 1970’s over 3M Fiorucci Jeans were bought by women who followed Jackie Onassis; Bianca Jagger; Cher and later Princess Diana. But the alchemic did not stop there, he then  texturized tastes by bringing to the forefront childlike stridencies. His blouses; shirts and dresses were splashed with candy colors. Shocking pink; mellow yellow; reverberating green and midnight blue were displayed with same elegance and grace as navy; beige; black or white. But it perhaps was at his stores were Mr. Fiorucci deployed his greatest creative talent.

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Fiorucci T-shirt

Fiorucci retail stores were the firsts to add music to décor. Training of employees was a process reminiscent of that used by the Walt Disney Co.  Employees were trained in understanding modern music; tendering to clients as if they were guests and discussing the benefits of the avant-garde fashion in terms of infusing optimism and youth. As a result,  even grandmothers exited the Fiorucci stores with blouses or T-shirts that would stand out in their closets full of browns; blacks; navies and greys. And they felt happier with themselves and with their country or family.

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Elio Fiorucci con Andy Warhol

The 59th street Fiorucci store in New York City created a transformative pressure on Bloomingdales. Indeed,  in the 80s Fiorucci received about 5,000 clients per day and none would go out empty handed. The store was the daylight replica to Studio 54. No visitor to NY could go back home without a Fiorucci item. Fiorucci was the songwriter for street fashion; the opposite of Chanel; Givenchy; Lanvin, Dior or Saint Laurent who reigned in the world of fashion when he entered the stage. Some consider Fiorucci to be a successful follower of Mary Quant.

But this misses the real value of the Milan born creator who through the success met by his bright colored plastic galoshes in diverse markets  realized that the world was ready to envelop everything in entertainment. And he dedicated himself not to fashion but to exhibiting the beneficial properties of entertainment scouting for its sources where it is abundant: the youth. By extracting the entertainment elixir from youngsters he made older people dream again and in the process regain self-confidence.

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Madonna and her dancers, the 15th anniversary of Fiorucci at Studio 54, 1983

Fiorucci’s greatest want was management. Poor management sent the dream to the gallows and Mr Fiorucci to a 22 months of jail  suspended sentence. He left as he lived, fast and surrounded by love from his employees; neighbors and customers who will never quit bright colors and dreamy adventures. These people are the following that will make him immortal.

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