Mariuccia Mandelli, the founder of Krizia, died at the age of 90 on Sunday evening after a sudden illness. Krizia is one of Italy's first ready-to-wear brands that helped build the country's global fashion identity.
Mandelli died on her home in Milan as reported on THE STRAITS TIMES. She was widely known for having invented the hot pants.
Mandelli started her career by opening a fashion factory with a friend. She then launched the Krizia brand, named after a dialogue of Plato regarding feminine vanity. Her story as a designer became a favorite fashion tale. She was just then riding her Fiat 500 and knocking from house to house and boutiques to sell her products, according to WWD.
Mandelli founded Krizia fashion house in the 1950's. One of Italy's first ready-to-wear houses, Krizia is known for designs that combined wit, whimsy and wearability. It also helped secure the country's place in the fashion firmament.
For decades, Mandelli reigned as "the godmother of Milanese Fashion." Pleating, sweaters spiked with leopard and tiger motifs, sculpted shoulders and cocoon shapes became some of Krizia's hallmarks, and the designer was also known for her experiments with materials such as eel skin, cork and gum.
During its height, Krizia was a $500 million a year business with shops worldwide and products that included eyeglasses, neckties, furniture and perfumes. But last year the company was sold to Chinese retail group Shenzhen Marisfrolg Fashion due to waning fortunes.
Mandelli was a key instrument in launching Italian RTW globally. She has made her name in the fashion business and will always be remembered as one of the business' icons.