Elio recently died and when I heard the news, I felt something like the feeling when I heard the news about Alexander McQueen. Unlike McQueen though, Elio lived a long and glorious life and died of natural causes. We’re not talking senseless tragedy, although it’s a tragedy that so many brands like Nasty Gal and the others don’t look to their roots as often as they should.
In my opinion, without brands like Fiorucci, House of Field, early Betsey Johnson, etc., there would be no Nasty Gal and the rest!
The first Fiorucci shop exposed Milan to the styles of Swinging London and American classics such as the T-shirt and jeans. By the late 1970s and early 1980s this would be reversed, and the New York store would become famous for the fashions it introduced to the United States. Known as the “daytime Studio 54”,it attracted trendsetters from Andy Warhol to a young Madonna.
I remember a uniquely stylish young woman shopping in my parents’ store on Melrose. Although the years have made my memories slightly fuzzier, I want to say that she was French or Italian and was in her early 20’s. All I remember was being in awe!
She exuded confidence, looked terrific, and had a great smile. I thought that if I grew up, maybe I could be like her? Fashion is that powerful, people. Who knows what she was like behind closed doors? To an impressionable kid, she was everything at that moment.