Giuseppe Lancetti, better known as Pino, wasn’t only a fashion designer, but a complete artist, who used fabrics as raw material for his work. His creativity and his innovative techniques mixed with the typical Italian taste for luxe led him throughout his almost 70 years of career to be one of the most prestigious creators of high fashion in Europe.
He was born in 1932 in the Perugian town of Gualdo Tadino, famous for its ceramics. Following his native town tradition, he studied at the Art Institute, decided to earn his living decorating pottery.
But soon his passion for fashion prevailed.
The Fifties marked a fundamental step on Italian fashion history, as the first shows in Florence and then in Rome showed to an international public the new and trendy made-in-Italy. In the same years, Pino Lancetti, after moving to Rome in 1954, started his work as fashion designer. He began selling freelance sketches to already famous Italian names, such as the Fontana sisters, Contessa Simonetti Visconti, or the Carosa maison.
In 1961 he opened his own atelier in Rome, the new centre of fashion. His first fashion show at the famous Palazzo Pitti in Florence caught the eye of the critics, from fashion editors like Irene Brin, to art directors as Palma Bucarelli from Rome’s Modern Art Gallery, to underline the relationship between the young Italian designer and arts.
But what brought Lancetti to the peak of success was his women collection launched in 1963. Revisiting his classical style and letting aside the artistic mark, he produced a revolutionary feminine line based on a military style, but still maintaining his elegance. Precious and soft stuffs, rich leathers and refined details gave his clothes a hint of chic, without forgetting that modern women preferred comfort to formality.
Though, the Italian stylist never accepted the “jeans and t-shirt” style. Lancetti more than once said that modern women had lost the sense of elegance and lacked taste, while identifying in the Italian actress Silvana Mangano the symbol of femininity and grace. He loved to dress her, as well as other famous and beautiful women of the aristocratic world, from the princess Soraya of Persia to the Belgian Queen Paola Ruffo di Calabria.
His first success gave Lancetti a push, and he soon became one of the most popular representatives of the Italian haute couture. His dresses appeared on the catwalks near the creations of Valentino or Versace, always presented by the most known top models: from Naomi Campbell to Kate Moss, or Carla Bruni. But in an era when the haute couture was decaying, he had to pay the price of his expensive choice and had to abandon this activity, just as many other stylists.
Between the Sixties and the Seventies he brought his first passion, arts, into his works, earning the appellative of “sarto pittore” (“tailor painter”). His creations have been inspired by the masters of arts, from Klimt to Matisse, Modigliani or Kandinskij. Among the most memorable of his
collections were the garments dedicated to Picasso presented at the French Academy at Villa Medici in 1986. From Italy to Japan, women who appreciate luxury and fine quality chose Lancetti.
After more than thirty years of success in high fashion, in the Nineties Lancetti began a program of complete revision of his strategy and operating structure, with an eye on more flexibility and competitiveness in the marketplace. The first step was the complete reorganization of management with a more international thrust, followed by the entry of new elements in the planning office and the revision of the offices in Rome in via Condotti, near Piazza di Spagna, the fashion centre of the Italian capital which gave the name to Lancetti parfum.
More than twenty licensing agreements have been concluded, and following the desire to modernize the Lancetti image several new labels have been created: “Miss Francesca” and “Lancetti & Company.” A line of knitwear in cashmere for men and women was launched as well as the Lancetti dresses for brides. The Italian fashion house has also opened its doors to men’s shirts and ties, stockings, scarves, umbrellas, even creating promotional gifts for businesses.
In 1999 Pino Lancetti decided to retire. His last wonderful show in 2000 was held in the magic scenery of the Chiostro del Bramante in Rome. To celebrate his hard work as a representative of the Italian fashion industry in the whole world, the same year the Italian President named him Grand’Ufficiale dell’Ordine al merito della Repubblica Italiana and he was honored with a prize for his career.
After selling his name and company to a Tuscan industrialist, Ugo Paci, Lancetti dedicated his last years to his first love: painting. He died in Rome in 2007, at the age of 78, leaving his inheritance to his sisters, while the Lancetti Group is going on success after success, reaching sales for almost 30 Millions of Euros, with boutiques located in every part of the world.
LancettiVia Condotti, 61
00187 Roma, Italy
Tel: [+39] 06 6797926
Fax: [+39] 06 6783157
Web: Lancetti Italian Fashion House