President of the “Textile & Fashion design” Department
Romeo Gigli was born in Castel Bolognese in 1949. In 1968 a new literary find, J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye“, spurred his youthful rebellion and triggered his escape abroad. An inborn talent for dressing beautiful women exploded in these years and, just for fun, he created his first “clothing laboratory”.
In 1979 he met the New York couturier Dimitri, who, fascinated by Romeo’s personal dressing style, hired him to create a first menswear collection. Fashion became his primary means of expression, constantly blending with other forms of creativity: art, music and, above all, design.
His ongoing dialogue between the past and a present in constant evolution brought him, in 1987, to be consecrated by the international press as “L’enfant prodige de la mode“.
The constant interaction between different forms of creativity transformed Gigli into a mentor to his generation, leading him to develop the famous 10 Corso Como “design space” in Milan. He mixes his collections with those of the designers he loves: the ‘first’ John Galliano, Martin Margiela, Issey Myake, and Sybilla.
In 1992 he was named “Chevalier de l’ordre des artes et des lettres” by France’s Minister of Culture, Jack Lang. In 1995, he collaborated with John Eliot Gardiner in the creation of the stage costumes for Mozart’s opera ”Don Giovanni”.
In 1996, Louis Vuitton asked Romeo to create a special limited edition handbag on the occasion of the centenary of the mark. In 2008 he curated the project for the exhibition “Cina alla corte degli imperatori” at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence and, in 2017, he took on the role of creative director for Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni”, produced by Barnaba Fornasetti.
The poetry of his art has expressed itself through collaborative projects with leading photographers with whom Romeo has worked: Paolo Roversi, Max Vadukul, Xavier Vallhonrat and Romeo’s close friend Richard Avedon.