European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal Designers

Meeting Fashion Heritage: Fondazione Roberto Capucci

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Introducing the institution that represents the legacy of the Maestro

Roberto Capucci is surely one of the most iconic names linked to the ‘birth’ of Italian fashion. Right after finishing his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti, where he studied with artists as Mazzacurati and Libero De Libero, Capucci opened his first atelier in Via Sistina, Rome. It was only one year later, in 1951, that he was amongst the creators selected by Giovanni Battista Giorgini to show their collections at Giorgini’s villa in Florence. Then, in 1952, he participated to the infamous collective show at the Sala Bianca di Palazzo Pitti.

His success – he was praised by no less than Christian Dior – brought Capucci to open a second atelier in Paris in 1961, and he worked between Rome and the French capital until 1968.

His career took a turn in 1982, when he decided to leave the Camera Nazionale dell’Alta Moda, to focus on his sculptural creations. 1990 was the year which led to yet another major turn of events: with the exhibition “Roberto Capucci, l’Arte nella Moda. Volume, Colore, Metodo”, held in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, he took a path that led him to the most prestigious museums in the world. To this day, more than one hundred Capucci’s exhibitions have been held around the world.

To preserve and disseminate such a heritage is a fundamental act, given the popularity and fame of the name of Roberto Capucci. This is why, on the 15th September 2005, the Fondazione Roberto Capucci was established. With the support of Associazione Civita – an association that works in the field of promotion and development of Italian cultural heritage – the foundation has the purpose to promote the knowledge of Roberto Capucci’s work and open the rich archive to future generations of creators and admirers.

In 2017 Roberto Capucci Foundation moved its headquarters and the ample archive from Rome to the striking setting of Villa Manin, near Udine, thanks to ERPAC (Ente Regionale PAtrimonio Culturale Friuli Venezia Giulia). Here, a 500 square metres space inside the Villa’s complex is now dedicated to the dresses and sculptural creations, illustrations, sketches, audiovisual and press materials that compose the Capucci Archive. These materials have been recollected and gathered over the years and now are an invaluable resource, which is also being digitized to allow a wider audience to access it.

Amongst the activities of the foundation, the active participation in exhibitions and displays both focused on Capucci and on wider themes. And, of course, a collaboration with EFHA to unveil some of the gems enclosed in the archive – and their stories. Tune in on our channels to hear these objects’ voices!