R.I.P Elio Fiorucci, Fashion Provocateur & Pop Culture Savant

Italian icon and designer, Elio Fiorucci, passed away today at 80 years old. Take a moment to mourn the life of the ‘King of Jeans’ and his fashion fairy tale. Growing up the son of a slipper maker, the Milan native’s brand came to life with the creation of his primary color wellies. His clothes quickly became a fixture in Andy Warhol‘s Factory and his cheeky advertisements were as groundbreaking as they were provocative. Here are 5 notable Fiorucci accomplishments through his career.

  1. Falling in love with the first stretch jeans

If you’re the kind of person that’s never caught in anything other than skinny jeans, you’re gonna want to thank Fiorucci. His brand collaborated with Lycra (known for their uber comfy leggings), and the two launched world’s first stretch jeans in 1981. His vinyl jeans made waves with color-obsessed fashionistas of the 80s. The ads were pulsing, bright, loud, and undeniably sexy; no one could resist.

  1. The Launch of Interview Magazine

One of the most celebrated publications, Interview Magazine, was launched at the Fiorucci Store in New York City. Founded by Andy Warhol in 1969 and originally circulated around popular socialites, the magazine was released to public consumption at the designer’s 59th Street store in Midtown. This space would later be the first retailer to carry Paper magazine.

  1. Keith Haring Takeover

The worlds of fashion and art are in constant conversation. One of the great examples of this collaboration occurred in 1984, when Fiorucci stripped his Milan store bare and told Keith Haring “treat it as a space of his own.” The result was one of the most lively intersections of fashion and art ever seen.

  1. The Mad Monokini Craze

No one can deny that Fiorucci knew how to turn heads. Back in 1974, the brand introduced their most scandalous pieces at the time: the monokini and thong. When the ads were released, the collective shock was practically palpable. While the provocative images of topless models with barely-there swimsuits made the public gasp, they solidified Fiorucci’s position on the forefront for uninhibited, shamelessly brave fashion.

  1. Madonna has her cake and eats it too

The King of Jeans is also responsible for introducing the Queen of Pop. Back in 1983, the designer introduced a then unknown Madonna to the world when she burst from a cake and performed at his store in celebration of the brand’s 15th anniversary. Both would achieve massive success and leave their mark in the world of fashion and pop culture forever.

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