Ricci, Nina (1883–1970)

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Ricci, Nina (1883–1970)

Italian-born Paris fashion designer. Born Maria Nielli in Turin, Italy, in 1883; died in 1970; family moved to France in 1890; married Louis Ricci; children: Robert.

Nina Ricci was born Maria Nielli in Turin, Italy, in 1883. Her family moved to France in 1890. Having learned the fashion industry as an apprentice dressmaker in Paris, she soon became a head designer. Ricci created her designs by using fabric draped directly on a mannequin, in order to achieve the soft and light look that made her clothes popular. Together with her husband Louis, a successful jeweler, Ricci opened her own store in 1932, at age 49. Their son Robert joined the business and worked as its manager and director. He also added perfumes to the Ricci line, including the highly successful L'Air du Temps. While others have worked as head designers for the firm (Jules-François Crahay, 1954–63, Gérard Pipart, 1963—, and Myriam Schaefer , 1993—), Ricci's elegant and feminine styles have remained the trademarks of her label.

Maria Sheler Edwards , freelance writer, Ypsilanti, Michigan