fiorucci was all about fashion, fun, and kindness
One of fashion's most formidable pioneers, Elio Fiorucci, has died.
Born in World War II-era Italy, Fiorucci began working in his family's shoe store at 17 before ditching Milan for Swinging London, the epicenter of the 60s youthquake. The city's emphasized boldness, modernity, and global exchange-- qualities that would come to represent Fiorucci's work and landmark career.
He opened his first shop back in Milan in 67, one on King's Road in London in 75, and New York in 76. The 59th Street store was perhaps his most infamous outpost, often referred to as "the daytime Studio 54." Booming disco soundtracks and glimmery gold hotpant situations attracted the likes of Andy Warhol, Jackie O, Cher and Madonna, while drag legend Joey Arias was the shop's best salesman. Drawing inspirations from London's market places, Fiorucci and his team would scour the globe for the most interesting untapped fashions from street to club, and share these finds with the world. The New York Times credited the shop with "starting everything from designer jeans to Madonna's career."
Despite these trendy tendencies, the brand's legacy isn't just seeded in Fiorucci's fashionable discoveries. Enlisting i-D founder Terry Jones as an art director (and as Terry told us in his recent i-Con interview, critically supporting i-D's growth in the early 80s) Fiorucci produced some of fashion's most playful and provocative imagery -- from a perfectly patched up pair of cuttoffs to the birthday suited-bum and fuzzy pink handcuffs banned to kingdom come.
But as Fiorucci himself told i-D last month in what is perhaps one of the final interviews he gave, his top priority was always kindness: "As a child I based my relationships with others on kindness, as my father had taught me to. I wanted people to find what they came for, to be happy and spend little money to get exactly what they wanted. Because in the end the best thing in the world is to be loved. The greatest need of man is to be loved. I treasured all these experiences and I poured them into my work."
Text Emily Manning