Mariuccia Mandelli "Krizia," Italian

Krizia is the name Mariuccia Mandelli chose to make her dream come true. She borrowed the name from the title of Plato's unfinished dialogue on women's vanity and spelt it with a K to make it sound more exotic. Plato's Crizia is a man who squanders all his riches on jewelry and clothing for beautiful and compliant women. It is the beginning of the 1950s and Krizia, the designer, embarks on her adventure and repeats to herself: "I hope I will meet many like him along the way. How lucky I would be then."

Her hopes were to turn into reality. The girl from Bergamo, who as a child had enjoyed making dresses for her dolls, trades the security of a teaching job for the risky realm of fashion design. Although her decision is a shock to the family, Mandelli is undeterred. With a friend, Flora Dolci, she rents two rooms in Milan which become her first design studio and workshop. The Krizia label is born on skirts. Dresses follow, in a fresh, young style, already featuring fitted sleeves framed by a flat smooth line. But it was tough at the beginning: making people appreciate her designs and obtaining loans from banks. In time, success is inevitable. Freedom of choice is her leit motif.

The soul and creator of Krizia beleives "every woman should dress as she pleases as long as what she wears becomes part of her." Her fashion is adaptable to any lifestyle, situation or cultural revolution and still maintains a feminine touch. Over the years, Krizia's constant research for new materials goes hand in hand with introducing new outlines. The first models she showed in public in 1957 included a series of fruit print dresses. Next came a striking black and white collection showed at the Pitti Palace in Florence in 1964. Pleating, careful attention to shoulders, and the use of fanciful animals on her clothes are only some of the distinctive features that have recurrently turned Krizia's creations into successes.

Today over 50 collections a year are created for the various Krizia labels, which includes menswear, children's wear, knitwear, as well as glasses, handbags, ties, perfumery, kitchen furniture and much more. With the strong support of her husband Aldo Pinto, who is in charge of the company's organizational and commercial coordination, Mariuccia Mandelli manages a growing enterprise with increasing sales worldwide.

Krizia's search for the ideal vacation spot led to her developing the resort of her dreams on the island of Barbuda in the British West Indies where she designed everything down to the silverware and uniforms for the maids. VIPs from all over the world have come to enjoy her luxurious version of the simple life.


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