Born: Pieve di Cento, Bologna, Italy, 5 September 1943. Education:
Studied political science, University of Bologna. Career: Apprenticed in textile companies in Lyon, France, 1967, and in England and Germany; freelance designer with own boutique, Pam Pam, in Riccione, Italy, 1968; opened second boutique with brother Lamberto in Milan, 1969; designer for Fancy, New Delhi, 1972-73; designed UFO jeans for Gruppo Zanella, Italy, from 1974; designer for Daniel Hechter, Paris, 1975; formed Giorgio Correggiari SrL, 1975; designed Cadette collection, 1977; launched Giorgio Correggiari womenswear line, 1977; also in 1970s designed menswear for Herno, leatherwear for IGI of Perugia, Reporter line of menswear in USA, Cleo and Pat knitwear, furs for Pellegrini (1970-73), Trifurs (1976), and Bencini (until 1985); consultant to International Wool Secretariat, adviser to Cantoni on printed velvets, 1979; adviser to International Cotton Institute, Brussels, Lana Gatto wool mill, and Tessitura e Filature di Tollegno, Italy; designer for Divi, 1986; produced line of leather coats for Robrik and young jackets and raincoats for Coral; designer for SAHZA House of Fashion, Valencia, Italy. Exhibitions: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1976. Address: Via San Lorenzo 21 20020 Lazzate, MI, Italy.
McDowell, Colin, McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion, London, 1984.
Italian Fashion, Milan, 1986.
Buckley, Richard, "Byblos Gets Kudos for Playful Men's," in DNR, 13 July 1984.
Profile in Donna (Milan), April 1986.
"City of the Arts and Science's Hemispheric, Last Night," available online at Valencia World, www.cacsa.com, February 2001.*
Giorgio Correggiari can be regarded as an intellectual critic of top fashion designers. His philosophy is to offer customers a high degree of fashion at highly competitive prices without sacrificing quality. His design is simple, unsophisticated, but unquestionably fashionable and very avant-garde. He uses few accessories and avoids printed materials. He is not strong on color and prefers to bring out the color of the person.
Giorgio Correggiari is a spontaneous designer who loves his work. There is a constant feeling of improvisation about his designs, and he thrives on the unexpected and the irregular. This open-minded approach keeps him on his toes, ready to face the uncertainties of the fashion business, and maintains his interest, essential for a man who has declared he would stop designing the moment it ceased to amuse him.
Born into a wealthy textile family (his father owned a textile mill near Bologna, Italy), Correggiari went on to study political science at the University of Bologna. He was 20 years old when a fire completely destroyed the textile mill, decimating the family fortunes. Correggiari then took off to travel through Germany, England, and France. An eight-month stint in a Lyon mill revived his interest in textiles, and on returning to Italy he ventured into business on his own. He opened a boutique in Riccione, christened Pam Pam, which he decorated in papier maché. He filled it with his own avant-garde designs, called Follies, which were made by a group of local outworkers. This first shop was successful, but shortly after opening a second in Milan, the designer declared himself disillusioned with his profession and left to travel around India.
The lure of fashion proved irresistible, however, and Correggiari was soon back designing in Italy. A contract with the leather firm Zanella, in 1974, was an instant success. He created a collection of 12 styles in leather and introduced a new style called UFO jeans. The success was justified, as the company took 1.5 billion lire in sales in the first season alone. At the same time, Correggiari was also commissioned to work for Daniel Hechter in Paris, designing mens-wear, womenswear, and childrenswear lines.
In 1976 he formed his own company, Giorgio Correggiari, to produce his own ready-to-wear collections. His frenzied, restless approach to his work rapidly made the company a success. His designs reflected his insatiable curiosity and thorough research into detail and themes. He has been known to pound the streets of Milan on foot trying to find someone who can replicate an original Liberty buckle, or stay up all night in his kitchen dyeing accessories to exactly the right shade to complement a collection. He also enjoys pillaging junk shops and second-hand stores for original buttons or old velvet fabrics that can be reproduced or incorporated into his designs.
The 1980s brought technically innovative clothing from Correggiari, including sweaters made of a cellulose yarn paper developed in Japan. He also created garments that could be stuffed into a suitcase but come out still looking fresh. The designer has not lost any steam since then: his work for spring 2001 included flattering black pantsuits for women with a high, angled neckline and knee-length wraparound dresses with wide collars and ties at the waist, harkening back to popular 1970s looks.
If one word could be used to describe Giorgio Correggiari it should be "prolific." Establishing his own company did not contain him; he also designs a knitwear line called Cleo and Pat; a men's line, Reporter; a leather collection for leather goods company IGI in Perugia; and a collection of velvets that returns him to his textile roots for Cantoni. In addition, he has ventured into licensing, designing belts, scarves, handbags, ties, and raincoats under his own label. The Parisian branch of the International Wool Secretariat also commissioned his services as a design consultant. Small wonder, therefore, that Correggiari declares a day has to be frenzied for him to feel alive.
updated by CarrieSnyder