This year, the Gattinoni fashion house celebrates 72 years of its existence and twenty years of making the haute couture collections. Owing to their collaboration with Beyoncé, for whom they made a number of concert costumes and evening gowns, Gattinoni is currently one of the most recognizable fashion brands in the world.
The Gattinoni fashion house was founded in 1946 as a result of Madame Fernanda Gattinoni’s sparkling brilliance. Fernanda Gattinoni was learning the artifice of fashion in the 1930s and 1940s in London and Paris, where she collaborated with some of the greatest European fashion houses. During her stay in Paris, the famous Coco Chanel herself became enthusiastic about her creations and encouraged Fernanda to open her own fashion atelier. Only after returning back home and after the end of the Second World War, she finally founded her own fashion brand “Gattinoni” and immediately reaped success at home as well as abroad. Her first boutique in Rome is located next to the American embassy and it was no coincidence that her international success first began in Hollywood. She dressed many Hollywood stars, such as Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman and Kim Novak. Moreover, all great names of the Roman “Dolce Vita” wore Fernanda Gattinoni’s creations.
The extraordinary fashion house was caught in the middle of a grand scandal in the 1960s, when princess Ana was wearing Gattinoni pieces at Buckingham palace. That would not be a problem if members of the royal family were not strictly forbidden from wearing pieces made by foreign designers. Twenty years later, in the 1980s, the Gattinoni fashion house reached a turning point under the direction of Fernanda’s son Rainer and the current president Stefano Dominella. In 1994, Guillermo Mariotto joined the fashion house as creative director and lifted the brand to fashion heaven. His creations are sharp, socially critical and theatrical. In 2009, the archive of the grand Gattinoni fashion house officially became a part of Italian cultural heritage.
Italian fashion industry is valued at 100 billion euros annually and employs around half a million people. The man who has been influencing the Italian fashion industry for more than three decades is one of the most prominent individuals in the Italian world of fashion industry and design.
As the president of one of the largest and most important high fashion brands, he has been one of the most influential people in Italian fashion for many decades. Stefano Dominella attended the Marangoni Institute in Milano and in the middle of 1970 he jumped into the creative waters of Italian fashion. First, he was designing for Mila Schön, after which he was an assistant coordinator of the Valentino fashion house. In the 1980s’, together with his schoolmate and long-time friend Raniero Gattinoni, he designed a new vision and strategy for one of the greatest Italian fashion brands. Dominella has remained its president until today. In 1983, he became President of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, which is one of the most significant fashion foundations in the world, where he remained until 2012.
Today, apart from leading the Gattinoni fashion brand, Stefano Dominella is also President of the fashion section of Industrial Union of Rome and Lazio. For many years, Dominella has been creating memorable exhibitions in which he has combined high fashion, Italian fashion design and talent together with art, history, environment and even food.
Text: Tomi Vugrinec
Photography: Gattinoni Archieve