Not since the late 1980’s have all things burlesque and vintage cheesecake pin-up been so trendy. So, perhaps it’s timely that Fiorucci goes through something of a revival.
It wouldn’t be the first time that the Italian brand founded in 1967 re-entered the limelight. In the late 1970’s, at the height of the disco era, Elio Fiorucci’s Italian label was at the height of fashion. Known as ‘the daytime Studio 54’, the New York store was an absolute must for celebrities and fashion wannabes alike. Fiorucci, the first brand to turn camouflage and leopard skin, in combination with its skin-tight jeans, into brazen street wear that could be worn day or night, defined an era of Italian leadership of certain echelons of trendy up-to-the-minute fashion. Fiorucci’s New York store became a hub of hip happenings and arty performances. For example, in 1979, Kenny Scharf’s first solo exhibition actually took place in the store and was entitled ‘Fiorucci Celebrates the New Wave’. It even featured a live performance by Klaus Nomi.
Since then, however, Fiorucci has unfortunately been more likely to make headlines for its financial woes and internal conflicts between new ownership and the founding father of the brand who announced the closure of the once famous Milan flagship store more than five years ago.
However, even after Fiorucci’s much publicised problems at the end of the 1980’s and the beginning of the 1990’s, other fashion manufacturers – as diverse in tone and size as H&M or Agent Provocateur- have acknowledged Elio Fiorucci’s pioneering style and ability to create a brash and sexy brand identity and have invited him to undertake projects with them at various points. Even at the height of Fiorucci’s management problems, in 1995, Fiorucci’s European jeans campaign featuring the naked behind of a sexy woman re-launched the line to the height of infamy and commercial success in Europe.
So, ups and downs seem to all be part of the Fiorucci story. In which case, it’s probably about time that someone paid a little closer attention to the playfully bling watches produced in collaboration with the British watch manufacturer Zeon. Inspired by both Pop Art and preceding eras pin-up traditions, they certainly wouldn’t be out of place on the arms of trendy women who are currently cultivating a vivacious retro pin-up girl look or are part of the trendy burlesque scenes unfolding in the artsy neighbourhoods of Paris, London and New York.