DALLAS FASHION AWARDS: A HISTORY LESSON

Byline: Rusty Williamson

DALLAS — Italian fashion house Emilio Pucci has renewed some longtime bonds with Dallas.
Pucci, bought last year by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is riding a new wave of popularity with its signature psychedelic prints and sporty silhouettes inspired by luxe lifestyles. But the label first found favor in Dallas nearly 50 years ago, when it was discovered by Stanley Marcus on a buying trip to Italy, where he purchased it for his family’s Neiman Marcus chain.
Laudomia Pucci, the company’s image director and daughter of the late Emilio Pucci, along with other Pucci principals, picked up the Fashion Excellence Award from the International Apparel Mart on Oct. 21 during the Dallas Fashion Award festivities. Pucci received the honorary award from the Dallas Market Center, after the announcement of 11 winners in competitive apparel and accessories categories voted on by retailers who shop in Dallas.
Winners in the DFA’s competitive categories were: ABS for after five, Custo Barcelona for contemporary, Maggy London for dresses, Urban Outfitters for junior contemporary, Telluride for sportswear, Karen Neuburger for intimate apparel, and Ellen Tracy and Garfield & Marks, who tied in the designer women’s wear category, as reported.
Other winners were: Raisins for swimwear, Barse & Co. for jewelry, Brighton for accessories and Cach Cach for children’s wear.
Pucci’s Dallas Fashion Award trophy, a silver abstract female sculpture, wasn’t the first prize the company has received in Dallas.
“My father was here in 1954 to receive the Stanley Marcus Award from Neiman Marcus. Now it’s my turn,” Pucci said. “This award marks a special return to Dallas by Pucci, and that’s not all: I have two little children, so get ready for the next generation of Pucci.”
Catherine Vautrin, president and chief executive officer at Pucci, said the award is especially timely considering Pucci’s vigorous expansion plans currently being outlined under LVMH’s auspices.
“Acceptance of Emilio Pucci by American people, and in particular Dallas people, represents a huge encouragement at the moment when we are expanding the company,” Vautrin said.
The Pucci entourage was introduced by Amy Fine Collins, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, who recently profiled the Pucci dynasty.
“If each of us here had one dollar for every Pucci knockoff that appeared in the last five years — not to mention the last five decades — we could all go home and retire,” Collins quipped. “And Texas has figured prominently in Pucci’s history, from Stanley Marcus in the Fifties to Braniff Airlines in 1965.”
Emilio Pucci’s designs were an integral part of the now-defunct airline’s image makeover and ad campaigns that commenced in 1965 and ran through 1974. During that period, Pucci designed uniforms for the airline’s stewardesses and splashed the outer skin of its fleet of planes with his signature technicolor designs.
The DFA gala also included a silent auction of DIFFA denim jeans jackets designed by the 33 DFA nominees. The top-dollar jacket hailed from Rose Taft Couture, a nominee in the after-five category, which was designed by Clarence Ramirez, design assistant to Marcia Taft. It fetched $1,400 and was trimmed with a mink collar and cuffs.
Proceeds from the auction and gala ticket sales totaled more than $18,000 and benefited the Dallas chapter of DIFFA, which is the top fund-raising chapter among 15 across the U.S. A second silent auction raised $12,000 for the Fashion Group of Dallas.

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