Milan designer Elio Fiorucci dies

King of stretch jeans”.

Leading designer Elio Fiorucci, described by Time magazine as the “king of stretch jeans”, has died in his Milan home aged 80.

Following in his father’s professional footsteps, Elio worked first as an assistant in the family business before striking out on his own with collections inspired by the British and American pop culture, opening his own gallery in Milan in 1967.

By 1970 his informal clothes with the Fiorucci label, especially jeans, were already being distributed across Europe, and soon in the US, South America and Japan.

He opened stores around the world, starting in London and New York, attracting clientele of jet-setters such as Grace Jones, Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol.

In 1990 his empire was bought up by the Japanese Edwin International group, but his design workshop remained in Milan.

Time reports how a visit to the Spanish “party capital“ island of Ibiza inspired him to launch the trend for tight-fitting stretch jeans, designed to imitate the look of wet clothing and accentuate female curves.

Elio Fiorucci was discovered dead in his Viale Vittorio Emanuele home, apparently from natural causes, after family members, unable to contact him, alerted the authorities.