By  on March 9, 2007

MILAN — Pino Lancetti, the Dolce Vita designer famed for transforming his favorite paintings into colorful prints, died Wednesday night in Rome.

Neither the Lancetti family nor Lancetti's longtime collaborator, Ninfo Burruano, could be reached for comment. Italian wire services reported that Lancetti, believed to be in his mid- to late-70s, died at his home after battling illness for a few months. Official funeral details were not available, but a Rome service is expected to take place Saturday morning.

Lancetti's fame peaked in the Sixties and Seventies when the Rome-based designer turned out military-inspired looks and prints based on paintings by artists such as Picasso and Modigliani. His contemporaries included Irene Galitzine, the Fontana sisters, Emilio Pucci and Valentino Garavani.

In 1999, Lancetti sold his business to the Turin-based Compafin, founded by the late Ugo Paci. Luisa Paci, Ugo's widow, now runs Compafin and its sister company Weruska & Joel Parfums, which continues to sell Lancetti brand fragrances and beauty products. Compafin also has a smattering of licensing agreements for Lancetti in areas like accessories and apparel.

A Weruska & Joel spokeswoman said the beauty company lost contact with the designer in 2002, when Lancetti retired and devoted the remainder of his life to painting. Compafin officials could not be reached for comment.

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