Nina Ricci - Part II
June 10, 2010
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While her son Robert with his entrepreneurial skills managed the business and finance of the organization, she was the creative head of the company "Nina Ricci" creating sophisticated, elegant clothes in a classic style. She worked with the pieces of cloth directly on the mannequin to ensure they had the right shape once they were finished.
Success was rapid for this remarkable "dress architect" : the 40 seamstresses working in a building at 20 rue des Capucines had increased to 450 at the outbreak of war.
In 1945, after the war had ended, Robert Ricci had an idea, and Lucien Lelong realized it. During an exhibition at the Louvre, in Paris they exhibited 172 dolls dressed from 40 Paris couturiers, including Balenciaga and Madame Gres. Immediately it was a great success, first in Europe and afterwards in the USA.
In 1946 Robert Ricci, wishing to diversify the Business operations, and also expressing himself created his first perfume "Coeur-Joie".
Two years later he created his second perfume named "L'Air du Temps". This fragrance became one of the French perfumery's great classics. Another big, big success.
The "bottle with the doves" was co-designed by Marc Lalique and Robert Ricci. The Lalique family manufactured bottles exclusively for the House of Ricci until the 1950's.
By the early 1950s Nina Ricci was nearing 70 years of age and slowly withdrew from an active role in costume design, choosing to just keep an eye on the house.
The arrival of young costume designers engaged by Madame Ricci brought new impetus to the Couture House. In 1959, NINA RICCI acquired international renown with the success of Jules-Francois Crahay's collection, consolidated some years later by Gerard Pipart who took over the Haute Couture studio in 1964.
Taking advantage of Nina Ricci's growing reputation overseas, "L'Air du Temps" was introduced on major world markets, in particular Japan and the United States.
In 1970 at the age of 87 Nina Ricci died, on the 30 November.
Her son, Robert, who had became an expert perfumer as well as an excellent businessman, had transformed Nina Ricci's house into an empire. It was a vivid monument to his mother.
The name Nina Ricci continues being a symbol of elegance, and classic style in fashion designing nowadays.
And remember this. She really began to see successful things happening at the age of 50.
Let's be hopeful, and patient, working hard and passionately.