Editor’s note: Welcome to the second installment of a 3-part series on Haute Mess! This week I’ll be discussing something very close to my heart: Italian fashion.

Although I am American by birth, I’m Italian by blood. And, as all my followers, readers and friends know, fashion has been a strong personal interest of mine for as long as I can remember. Lucky for me, the two often overlap; after all, Italy is home to iconic labels like Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Missoni and La Perla. 

The shift from Europe to Asia is something I noticed on my own, and instantly thought it spoke volumes about the [fashion] industry as a whole. I collected and organized my thoughts into this 3-part essay that focuses on Fiorucci. While Fiorucci isn’t a household name in the same capacity brands like Gucci, Prada or Dolce & Gabbana are, it has been beyond influential for decades–so much so that, in some senses I will discuss, it represents a number of fashion labels as they take on the 21st Century. 

For a complete list of sources, click here


Fiorucci by Eve Babitz [source: ilovecatparty.blogspot.com]

Meanwhile on the business end, 1981 saw a couple big changes for Fiorucci. Benetton bought Montedison’s 50-percent stake in Fiorucci (which reduced to 33.3 percent in 1986), and Elio brought in Iranian businessman Massimo Aki Nuhi (i.e., Akinouhi) as a third partner via his holding company Aknofin. In August 1987, Benetton sold their remaining stake to Fiorucci and Aki Nuhi.

A combination of “thriving sales” (with which the company could not keep up) and “poor management” forced Fiorucci to close its Manhattan store in 1986.

Fiorucci’s New York storefront [source: Kickshaw Productions]

New York-based fashion designer Betsey Johnson said, “Fiorucci was the most happening place. It never stopped being happening—it just left New York City, because I don’t think New York City was happening enough by the mid-80s,” (Chaplin).

Two years later Fiorucci closed its remaining U.S. stores after a franchise dispute, and moved instead to a wholesale strategy. In April of the following year, Fiorucci went into administration after a dispute over the strategic direction of the firm that had seen Elio offer to buy-out Aki Nuhi (WWD).

It was then that the Tacchella brothers came to the rescue (Bannon).

Fiorucci by Eve Babitz [source: ilovecatparty.blogspot.com]

In January 1996, after a plea bargain, Elio was given a suspended jail sentence of 22 months for inflating the value of invoices to increase the value of the company to Carrera at the expense of his creditors (from Corriere della Sera, a). Luciano Benetton was cleared of similar charges “on the grounds that he had not been involved at an operational level during his time (September 1985-September 1987) on the board at Fiorucci,” (from Corriere della Sera, b).

The deal with Edwin was signed June 4, 1990 (and ratified October 1990), but Edwin did not gain control of the assets until May 1992, causing the company to lose the rights to the Fiorucci name in Canada on the grounds of disuse (Gamache).

Edwin’s first major act was a deal with Coles Myer, which led to 68 Fiorucci concessions in stores across Australia. A new store also opened in Piazza San Babila, Milan in early 1993; it included a variety of branded boutiques (Forden).

[source: fashiontimes.it]

However, things were very different on the North American front. Later that year a deal fell through with Mary Ann Wheaton of Wheaton International (Gordon). It was not until 1995 when Edwin was able to license the rights for eyewear in the U.S. to Swan International Optical (Parr).

Although Fiorucci opened a U.S. office in September of 1997 (Parr), the strategy of their licensee, Stephen Budd, to sell the brand into U.S. department stores was not successful (Chaplin). Two years later, the label announced its plan to open a U.S. store in time for the holiday season. However, the store on lower Broadway did not open until June 2001. (Chaplin)

Kim Hastreiter (a commentator) was “skeptical that [Fiorucci] could recapture the buzz of times passed, given the increased competition in mass-market clubbing gear from the likes of H&M and The Limted,” (Chaplin).

[source: Pinterest]

While the brand continued to thrive in Europe during 1995, a campaign for jeans featuring a naked woman’s behind and pink furry handcuffs restored (some) former notoriety, and the jeans became “instant bestsellers,” (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps).

The year 1999 saw the launch of a successful perfume, and two years later Fiorucci launched another successful fragrance. In 2003 the label launched Miss Fiorucci, a makeup line. Meanwhile, Edwin aggressively expanded the brand throughout Asia, from Seoul to Tokyo and China. (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps)

Elio “retained creative control during the Edwin era,” and the new owners were “protective of the Fiorucci trademarks.” In fact, they “took legal action against H&M when Elio designed H&M’s poolside line” (Orso) and designed for Agent Provacteur.

[source: Ganzo]

[source: Love Magazine]

A 1987 Fiorucci ad [source: Pinterest]

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I didn’t know it was possible to feel sexy in cords until I pulled on this burnt orange pair by Fiorucci. By now I’m sure all my readers know my obsession with the Italian label–it was featured in my November favs, plus my 3-part series on its influence on the fashion industry is underway this week.

After having my eyes on these logo-emblazoned corduroy pants since their debut, I snagged them (for 20%-off!) on Black Friday. (Side note: Fiorucci’s shipping is amazing–my parcel arrived in N.J. from the U.K. in less than a week, and their packaging is so fun.)

Not only are these quite possibly the most flattering skinny pants I’ve ever worn (I tend to stick to baggy, boyfriend styles because that’s what looks best on my figure), they’re comfortable. Basically, they fit like a glove. Plus, how cool are they?! I can’t get enough.

This week I paired them with a slouchy sweatshirt because temperatures have been freezing here (it snowed twice last week). I’ve spent so much time in L.A. lately that it actually took me a minute to get used to dressing for fall and winter this year. But now that I’m back in the North East for a while, I’m starting to get the hang of it again.

As much as I wanted to polish off this look with a pair of heeled booties, I decided to go for my Adirondack boots; I’ve been doing booties way too often. They definitely added to the cord’s cozy winter vibes. And, they preform much better in the snow, anyway. I also added a chunky knit scarf for extra warmth and texture.

I’ll definitely be pairing these cords with skimpy tank tops and cropped t-shirts as weather gets warmer, but for now, I’m enjoying all my knits and sweatshirts. My day-to-day style tends to have a casual, borrowed-from-the-boys steez, so I know my new Fiorucci cords will be an investment that pays off for years to come.

What I’m wearing:

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Editor’s note: Welcome to the first installment of a 3-part series on Haute Mess! This week I’ll be discussing something very close to my heart: Italian fashion.

Although I am American by birth, I’m Italian by blood. And, as all my followers, readers and friends know, fashion has been a strong personal interest of mine for as long as I can remember. Lucky for me, the two often overlap; after all, Italy is home to iconic labels like Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Missoni and La Perla. 

The shift from Europe to Asia is something I noticed on my own, and instantly thought it spoke volumes about the [fashion] industry as a whole. I collected and organized my thoughts into this 3-part essay that focuses on Fiorucci. While Fiorucci isn’t a household name in the same capacity brands like Gucci, Prada or Dolce & Gabbana are, it has been beyond influential for decades–so much so that, in some senses I will discuss, it represents a number of fashion labels as they take on the 21st Century. 

For a complete list of sources, click here


A peek inside Amsterdam’s Fiorucci store, which contained a cafe. [source: CNN]

Perhaps no other brand in (modern) history has been more influential to fashion than Milan-born Fiorucci. Credited with designing the first pair of women’s fashion jeans, it is really quite a shock that Fiorucci is not more of a household name, compared to other high-end labels like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

In the 1990s, in an effort to save the failing brand, the Tacchella brothers (of Italian jeans company Carrera S.P.A.) sold Fiorucci to Japanese jeans group Edwin Co., Ltd. for 45 billion Lire (or approximately $41 million USD). This created a domino effect that saw other major Italian labels, such as sportswear giant Fila, move to Asia.

Two angels [source: Pinterest]

But the story starts in 1962 when Milan native Elio Fiorucci, the son of a shoe shop owner, created bright, primary color galoshes. His idea went on to be featured in a local fashion magazine and were a sensation.

After traveling to London in 1965, a 20-year-old Elio was inspired to bring Carnaby Street style back to Milan. Two years later, Elio opened his first shop in Milan, which sold clothes by London designers such as Ossie Clark and Zandra Rhodes. Still today, Fiorucci marries London street style with Dolce Vita luxury.

It was in 1968 that Elio began taking inspiration from the East. He sold cheap t-shirts from India and turned rice sacks into handbags.

By the mid-1970s the Fiorucci label was thriving. A huge new store on Milan’s Via Torino opened, selling not only fashion, but books, furniture and music. It had a live performance area, a vintage clothing market and a restaurant. The company set up its own manufacturing plant four years prior, and adopted its infamous “two angels” logo from Italo Lupo. (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps)

The store was financed by an investment from Standa department stores (part of Montedison group). (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps)

Monokini [source: Pinterest]

During this time, the label introduced Europe to styles from Brazil, such as the monokini and the thong. It also caused quite a controversy by printing topless women in its advertisements. (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps)

Fiorucci opened its first overseas store in 1975 on London’s King’s Road; it launched a children’s collection called Fioruccino that same year. The label also brought Afghan coats to the mass market and popularized leopard-skin prints, which were first created by Elsa Schiaparelli two decades prior. (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps)

The label made its way to the U.S. in 1976 when it opened a store on East 59th street, between Lexington and Park Avenues, in New York City—down the block from Bloomingdale’s. (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps).

Customers included fashion designers Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein, Jackie Onassis and Gloria Vanderbilt, actress Lauren Bacall, British mogul Terence Conran, Cher (Chaplin), author Douglas Coupland (Colman) and Juan Carlos I, the King of Spain (Lahr).

As the brand continued to thrive, it hired big-name employees by the 1980s. Fiorucci’s art director was designer Maripol, who created Madonna’s looks at the time. Other notable names included Madonna’s brother Christopher Ciccone, i-D magazine’s Terry Jones, Oliviero Toscani (who shot many famous Benetton ads) and famed interior designer Jim Walrod (Chaplin).

Late actress Farrah Fawcett in Fiorucci jeans [source: CNN]

Fiorucci’s hottest new products at the time included a collection made from DuPont’s Tyrek fabric and velvet slippers from China. And in 1978, Fiorucci became the first fashion house to license its name for a collection of sunglasses. New stores launched across the U.S., Europe and Asia. (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps)

Three years later in 1981, a Disney license led to a highly successful range of Mickey Mouse pieces. That same year, Fiorucci sponsored the reunion of Simon and Garfunkel at The Concert In Central Park, which attracted more than 400,000 attendees. A then-unknown Madonna played the labels birthday party in 1983. (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps)

A 1974 Fiorucci ad [source: The Historialist]

In 1982, however, Fiorucci launched the first-ever stretch jeans with Lycra. The success of the label’s 5-pocket “safety” jeans was recognized three years later in a licensing deal with Wrangler Jeans. And in 1989, Fiorucci went back to its British roots with a deal with Vivienne Westwood (i.e., the “queen of the London street scene”). (From Memorabilia: Fiorucci’s Steps)

Per a video interview by Il Bel Gioco, Elio Fiorucci says, “I changed denim, which was working clothing, into something [that] makes the [wearer] beautiful.”

[Source: Il Bel Gioco via YouTube]
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Sick of my holiday-themed posts yet? Me neither.

Today I’m discussing *aaaaall* my favorite sparkly, shiny, shimmery and glossy beauty products (new and old). I rounded up the best affordable, high-end and luxury goodies to help you bring those kirakira+ selfies to life.

But first, I have to give a shoutout to fellow blogger and Glossier Rep Amelia (Amelia Says)–I got the idea for this fabulous post from her.

Enjoy my top picks for festive eyes, face, lips and body, and be sure to let me know your favorite products for adding that extra touch of glamour to your look during the holidays in the comments below! Xx

Eyes:

  • Golden State Of Mind shadow palette: Fifteen metallic, shimmery shades in romantic berries, icy ivories and not-so-basic bronzes help me create playfully sexy eye looks all season long. ColourPop
  • Super Shock Shadow in Bouncy: This cool-toned bronze with gold and violet duo chrome is the epitome of grunge-luxe. I love packing it onto my lid after sweeping some matte browns into my crease (Buxom’s Gimme Gorgeous and MAC Saddle are my go-to’s). ColourPop
  • Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife: This is intended to be a face highlight, but during the winter months when I’m paler it suits me much better on my eyes. I dust it all over my lid for a quick and easy glam look when I’m in a rush to get ready. It’s also great as an inner corner highlight à la Desi Perkins. Fenty Beauty
  • Chroma Crystal Top Coat in Nude: I’ll be the first to admit I love wearing this product on its own (even though it’s obviously intended to be a topcoat); it’s perfect for adding that subtle eye sparkle when rocking a bold lip. Natasha Denona
  • Eye Vinyl in Bridge: Holiday season is the perfect time to experiment with editorial-style makeup. Milk’s nude eye gloss creates a wearable, healthy-looking dewiness on the lids. Milk Makeup

Lips:

  • Balm Dotcom in Birthday: This cult-favorite, long-lasting and intensely moisturizing salve got a makeover from New York’s Milk Bar bakery. It’s the balm you trust with a heavenly scent and a subtle holographic shimmer. Glossier
  • Lip Gloss: Not your little sister’s lip gloss. Glossier’s version gives your lips glassy, cushion-y, long-lasting shine free from any colored tint, glitter or shimmer. Plus, it’s got vitamin E to moisturize and conditioning polymers so it applies evenly–no goopy feeling. Glossier
  • Lip Gloss in Orgasm: Did you know NARS’ cult-favorite universally flattering blush comes in a lip gloss? And with a name like Orgasm, this also isn’t your little sister’s gloss. The shimmering peachy-pink hue makes lips look full and healthy day or night. NARS
  • Sugar Plum lip gloss: A high-quality shimmering nude gloss that adds moisture and volume to the lips; looks great on its own or over your favorite matte liquid lipsticks. Kylie Cosmetics (part of the In Love With The Koko collection)
  • Frost Lipstick in Pink, You Think?: Coat lips in a hot neon pearlized pink that doesn’t look messy when it starts to fade. Plus, the blue undertones help your teeth look extra white! MAC Cosmetics

Face:

  • Highlighting Blush in Hot Sand: Hot Sand is my go-to for a natural-looking everyday highlight. The powder formula provides a soft-focus-effect that’s perfect for any subtle or no-makeup makeup looks. But, the formula is build-able; I apply 2-3 layers of Hot Sand with a fan brush when I want to intensify its warm, glow-y sheen. NARS
  • Haloscope in Topaz & Moonstone: One word to describe Haloscope is dewy! I love Topaz for a sun-kissed glow (think: on the orbital bone around the eye for a chic spin on a “sunglasses tan”) and Moonstone for a sweaty sheen on my cheekbones, tip of the nose and cupid’s bow. (Huge shoutout to Glossier’s Community Team Manager Kim Johnson for these tips.) Glossier
  • Super Shock Highlighter in Off Tropic: Off Tropic is my go-to highlighter when I want an intense, wet effect glow. This highlight combines the best of both worlds in my opinion: a warm beige hue with an icy sheen. To maximize its effect, I always apply Off Tropic with Real Techniques’ setting brush and top with plenty of setting spray. ColourPop
  • Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Chili Mango & Rum: These sparkly blush toppers are super easy to use; the color is build-able and they blend like a dream. (Plus, they double as eyeshadows.) Chili Mango is a fun, beach-ready orange that looks amazing on its own; Rum, a gilded bronze, pairs perfectly with my favorite bronzers (which are NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna and BECCA Sunlit Bronzer in Capri Coast, by the way). Fenty Beauty
  • Light Chaser Highlighter in Opal Flashes Jade: Speaking of BECCA, their highlighters definitely live up to the reputation they have among the beauty community. So many influencers I watch on YouTube (e.g., my favs Lauren Elizabeth and Katy Bellotte) speak so fondly of BECCA highlighters that I decided to try one during Sephora’s recent VIB sale. I was instantly drawn to Opal Flashes Jade from the Light Chaser Collection because it’s so different than anything in my collection. As the name suggests, it’s a golden opal pearl with an intense teal-sapphire shift. BECCA
  • Holographic Highlighting Powder in Mars: I have heard so much about Milk’s Mars highlighter in stick form, but I wasn’t completely sold until the company debuted its powder counterpart. Mars in an out-of-this-world holographic *warm* golden peach. And because most holographic highlighters tend to be cool-toned, Mars is truly unlike anything else on the market. Milk Makeup
  • GRAVITYMUD Firming Treatment: If you want to look like a sexy version of the Tin Man while you tighten your skin, then this is the product for you. GLAMGLOW’s Firming Treatment mask reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helps even skin’s tone and restores firmness and elasticity. GLAMGLOW

Body:

  • Shimmering Body Oil: Why limit the sparkle to just your face? Glow all over with Bali Body’s shimmering body oil. It has all the nourishing and moisturizing properties of BB’s original body oil, plus a bronze tint and gold shimmers for an instant fresh-from-vacation glow day or night. (P.S. It smells incredible.) Bali Body 
  • Daily Perfecting Cream: You know that signature glow only Glossier can give your face? Bring it to the other 90 percent of you! Daily Perfecting Cream is a long-lasting body lotion. And while providing your skin with all-day moisture, it immediately perfects and enhance skin’s appearance–hence its name–thanks to tiny light-reflecting particles. The zero-residue, zerio-stickiness formula melts into the skin to tighten and smooth the surface and increase elasticity. Glossier
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One of the best things about the holiday season is getting to experiment with different looks you may not get to during the rest of the year! Holiday parties give you the chance to get a little shinier, a little sparklier and to generally kick things up a notch.

While I’d normally wear these vinyl pants with a band tee or oversized knit, I paired them with a more interesting texture combo for a holiday party at Rumpus Room in East Village last week.

I went with a long-sleeved mesh top in a beige-y nude color so that it didn’t distract from the statement-making pants. To keep covered I added a lacy bra underneath; I opted for classic black, which tied into the pants.

When it came to shoes, I had *such* a hard time deciding between two of my go-to’s: black booties and nude pumps. After all, both matched my look and both give me a major boost. I ended up going with the booties because a) it was super cold out and, b) my pumps aren’t in the best shape–I think it’s time to invest in a new pair. (Leave any suggestions in the comments below please.)

Speaking of the cold…I also wore my warmest coat, a gray faux fur teddy by BB Dakota. Then, I polished off the look with a pair of personalized hoop earrings and my favorite chain belt for a little more variety in texture.

Shop my look:

Top, I.Am.Gia

Bra, Free People

Vinyl pants, thrifted, similar here

Belt, thrifted, similar here

Shoes, Free People, no longer available, similar here

Coat, BB Dakota, no longer available similar here & here

Earrings, The M Jewelers

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