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  • Chit Lijauco

The ‘House of Pucci’: Laudomia Pucci keeps the family history alive

Keeping the family history alive, Laudomia Pucci turns Palazzo Pucci into a hub of her father’s legacy

COVER Laudomia Pucci, at the family’s palazzo

In 1947, the Marquis Emilio Pucci established his headquarters inside his family’s palazzo in Florence, Italy. He was just entering the world of fashion after photographs of his designs of vibrant ski uniforms for himself and his girlfriend landed on the desk of legendary fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Diana Vreeland.

At the Palazzo Pucci, models and sewers brought the Neapolitan aristocrat’s designs to life. Here, too, Pucci’s daughter Laudomia received her early immersion in fashion. “To grow up with my father having models around the house, who were actually photographed on the roof next to my playroom, in incredible clothes and hairdos, was totally normal!” she said in the website of the Emilio Pucci Heritage Hub. “To know that we had fashion shows in the house and that I could hear clapping from two floors lower was normal.”

Fast forward to 2017. The Pucci headquarters had moved to Milan after 70 years in the palazzo in Florence. By this time, the family had already partnered with LVMH who, in five years’ time, would totally take over the brand. “As the Pucci HQ moved to Milano, I started working on an education “During Covid all that [activity] obviously came to an end,” Laudomia continues her emailed interview. “Last year, after having exited the Pucci brand and sold the remaining stake to LVMH, I decided to concentrate my efforts on the archives and combine it with this unique space that I call home, Palazzo N6.” Laudomia shares the palazzo with a cousin and the church.

The heiress has been busy setting up the Heritage Hub. She has restored the frescoes by 19th-century masters Bezzouli and Adams on the ground floor; organised an industrial kitchen to allow private dining; set up a few bathrooms decorating the walls with coloured mosaic of historic Pucci images, sketches and prints. She asked photographer friend Massimo Listri to shoot a few pictures of the 1st floor, “where a beautiful set-up of only solid [not print] looks are displayed at the Sala Bianca”.

ABOVE One of the quotes on mirrors, this by Andre Leon Talley

“The large pictures are now hanging in the Palazzo as a testimony of the vision we have brought by wrapping the two floors in fuchsia and turquoise, the favourite colours of my father. By the way, he also covered the closets of his boutique in a fabric of these two colours to enhance the collections,” Laudomia adds. A definite attention-getter are the quotes on mirrors in acid colours explaining Emilio’s vision of colours as his way of bringing joy through his work. “I think this remains a valid point to date,” the daughter declares.

Other rooms tell the story of who worked in the various spaces. At the couture room where fittings used to take place, a large picture on a mirror of Emilio smiling creates that feeling of the action still going on. From the main Sala Bianca where fashion shows were once held, to the celebrity room and the boutique where the original fitting rooms used to be, the most charming green, turquoise and magenta hues dominate. “And at the political office that holds my father’s memorabilia you can find his chair and his portable TV as well as other Brionvega items,” she wraps up. She then lays down her vision.

“We are trying to be a living space where history and yesterday’s creativity will not compete with the museums in town [as there are already 69] but become a contemporary conversation on culture, fashion and design...We have provided a space to privately enjoy a drink, a moment with friends in a lunch or a meeting, while immersed in a unique environment far from the tourist crowds, enjoying the new way of living luxury: experiential luxury.”

ABOVE Emilio Pucci revolutionised Italian design with his bold prints and bright colours

She adds that the Hub is becoming to be what she calls a “closed concept store”. Open only to guests, it offers iconic items that can be ordered such as the Cappellini Pucci chairs, the Kartell chairs, the Pucci rugs and the Bisazza mosaics; a selection of Taschen books on fashion, art, travel, design; vintage Pucci pieces; multiples of Massimo Listri’s pictures in different sizes; artisanal products such as silverware, Murano glasses and a variety of other gift items. She says she is also working on the possibility of inviting artisans to present their products and work on personalising them for the guests, if so requested.

A tour of what Laudomia calls “my wonderland” can be virtually taken at Emilio Pucci or can be booked for actual visits at Laudomia says their guests come for different reasons. “Some are fashion fans and love everything about Pucci. Others do not know the family history that it goes back to the Renaissance, and love every single story. Others are curious about the Palazzo’s architecture and art. Some are happy with our lunches and dinners of seasonal local ingredients and the chef ’s specialities. And some just want to spend a different day in Florence.” One thing she notices however, is that everyone is “attracted to the privacy of the location and its modernity, as well as to the privilege of entering the family’s residence and learning of the family’s involvement in the project”.

ABOVE Bonaveri mannequins share archival art

On a more personal note, she tells Tatler, “I am delighted to have students and sewing machines back in the Palazzo. It reminds me of when I was growing up and we had ateliers on the ground floor.” And so, Palazzo Pucci is abuzz again with activities centred on the rich history and culture not only of the Pucci family, but of Italy itself as the brand has always proudly stood for the iconic Made in Italy stamp. All thanks to a young girl who grew up amid threads and fabrics, and who took over the reins of the business when her father died in 1992.

Laudomia has kept the Puccimania alive for years but now, it is time to focus on the preservation of the family’s legacy, richly stored in one hub, at the Palazzo Pucci where she lives and breathes fashion, design, culture and heritage.


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