Fashion Designer: Nina Ricci

Maria (nicknamed “Nina”) Ricci is an Italian designer born in Turin in 1883. She was brought up in France, she moved there in 1900. It was 1932 when she founded her company and she was 49 years old. She started making her way up the fashion ladder with her son, Robert and in only 7 years they grew from a one-room atelier to a business occupying 3 whole buildings.

At the age of 14 Nina Ricci started gaining experience by being an apprentice in Paris. By the age of 18 she had already started making her own dresses and selling them for a good profit to fashion houses. Her genius and uniqueness lied in making the feminine even more feminine. For Nina it was the woman that made the dress, not so much the other way around, so she always tried to add a unique element, something that would differ the dress and truly make it the wearers.
When Nina retired in the 1950s, Robert-her son, took over the business. By introducing some very successful fragrances with the name of the brand and licensing the name of Nina Ricci to other manufacturers he helped the empire grow even more. Nina was able to see her son take her business to even greater heights and international approval. The famous Nina died in 1970, her son Robert passed away in 1988, only 18 years later.

Ten years after the death of Robert Ricci, the Nina Ricci brand was bought by the Puigs, who had also acquired PacoRabanne. The new faces behind the Nina Ricci brand were Nathalie Gervais and Massimo Giussani. They worked together until Gervais left in 2001. A year later Guissani left the brand too and the American James Aguiarwas hired as the next creative director. But he too didn’t last long, it took 2 sessions and he was out. Lars Nilsson, who previously worked for BilBlass has been the creative director since 2002.

Designs by Nina Ricci

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