MILAN — Laura Biagiotti has died, aged 73, in Rome, after suffering a cardiac arrest on Wednesday evening.
The Italian designer, who died early Friday, is survived by her daughter Lavinia, vice president of the family-owned group. For years, mother and daughter took a bow together at the end of each fashion show in Milan.
A funeral service will be held on May 27 at the Santa Maria Degli Angeli church in the Italian capital.
Known for her luxury cashmere pieces and feminine silhouettes, Biagiotti contributed to the success of Italian fashion around the world. The first Laura Biagiotti collection debuted in 1972 at the Sala Bianca in Florence, together with designs by Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, Walter Albini, Krizia’s Mariuccia Mandelli and Gianfranco Ferré.
Biagiotti was the first Italian designer to present a fashion show in China, and among the first to show in Russia. The China event took place in Beijing on April 25, 1988, followed by an event at the Grand Theater of the Kremlin in February 1995.
The company was established in Rome in 1965 by the designer’s mother Delia Soldaini Biagiotti as a tailoring atelier. At the time, Alitalia flight attendants wore uniforms made by the atelier.
After producing a collection under the Via Veneto 7 label, which helped to build the company’s success in the U.S. that same year, she started producing and distributing couture collections for the likes of Emilio Schuberth, Roberto Capucci and Litrico through a new company, Biagiotti Export.
Biagiotti had been living and working in the Roman countryside since 1980, and later transferred her Rome-based headquarters to Castello Marco Simone, an 11th-century national monument that she and her husband, the late Gianni Cigna, restored. The grounds of the castle feature one of Europe’s most famous golf courses, the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.
Passionate about the arts, Biagiotti and her husband assembled one of the finest collections of paintings by the Futurist artist Giacomo Balla, which is now owned by Fondazione Biagiotti Cigna. It has traveled to venues such as the Pushkin Museum of Moscow.