STYLE ICON : SIMONETTA
Simonetta Colonna di Cesaro’ also known as Simonetta and the First Lady of Italian Fashion, The “Glamorous Countess”, was a designer and adventurer, who for me happens to be one of the most interesting female figures embodying great style & substance.
Simonetta’s look, her personal life, business savvy and iconic beauty have and will always be a great source of inspiration.
Simonetta was born in Rome in 1922. Descended from Russian aristocracy, the daughter of intellectual & politically inclined Giovanni Duke of Cesaro’, she grew up in a sophisticated environment, and would end up half way across the world not only geographically, but socially and ideologically, and then back again.
A quick recap of Simonetta’s life:
While living in Rome she was arrested and detained by Mussolini, freed, married to Gaio Visconti, began life as a fashion designer in Rome, was internationally celebrated as a designer by the age of 24 in Vogue, launched her collections in Paris and New York, adapted her designs with a shrewd eye for sales in the American market with garments in Bergdorf Goodman and then larger chains throughout America, dressed many of the most elegant women in history such as Audrey Hepburn Lauren Bacall The Duchess of Windsor Marisa Berenson Schiaparelli and more, married again to couturier Fabiani her design rival, established the brand “Simonetta et Fabiani”, divorced, launched her Haute Boutique formula in Paris, retired from design, met Guru Swami Chidananda, moved to a leper colony in India, then returned to live in Rome and Paris.
Her beauty and personal style made her a muse to Norman Parkinson, Rene Gruau, Clifford Coffin, Leonor Fini and others who photographed, painted, and sketched her striking look. Stephen Jones created an entire collection inspired by her in 2004.
Simonetta described her style as focusing on the importance of the silhouette, accented with fur, wonderful jewels, a focus on beautiful reds, a good black, and her favorite leopard fur coat.
Gorgeous, striking, and fascinating, Simonetta, is ever the true “Glamorous Countess”.