Stefano Ricci celebrates 50 years of the brand with a fashion show-event in Luxor
A unique and unprecedented event in a dream location
In the last few years, we have seen many amazing fashion shows by Stefano Ricci. Those in his city, Florence, to celebrate the 40th and 45th anniversary of the brand’s foundation – the first in the Uffizi Gallery and the second in the Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti, the historic hall where Italian fashion became known to the whole world – as well as spectacular presentations such as that of the spring-summer 2020 collection in the majestic Royal Palace of Caserta. But for his 50th anniversary, he has managed to surpass himself, fulfilling perhaps the greatest of all his dreams: organising a fashion show in Luxor, a magical place that he had visited and loved already 20 years ago when he explored ancient Egypt with the help of a gentleman, Mohamed Abou El Enein. He had also shown his love for this land with a book dedicated to it and written with the help of another great friend, Zahi Hawass, one of the most important contemporary Egyptologists. He is known for his extraordinary discoveries such as one of his most recent finds near Luxor: The Rise of Aten, the ‘lost golden city’ founded almost 3,000 years ago and remained hidden for thousands of years beneath the sand, almost intact. The door between Africa, a continent Ricci has always been strongly attracted to, and the Middle East.
And how could he , a man who has dedicated his life to elegance, beauty and exclusiveness, not be bewitched by what was once the cradle of luxury? Ancient Thebes on the banks of the flourishing Nile, capital of Egypt at the time of the Middle and New Kingdoms. It is the location of the famous Valley of the Kings, the resting place of some of the greatest pharaohs of this unique fascinating civilisation whose monumental architectural wonders can still not be explained.
It was 1972 when Stefano Ricci in the company of his wife Claudia began the journey that from a collection of precious ties would lead him to become one of the protagonists of the world’s men’s fashion. A designer of clothes and accessories that express timeless elegance and the highest level of Italian craftsmanship. Stressing the family nature of his company that today boasts 70 mono-brand boutiques and more than 20 shop-in-shops all around the world, he has been helped for years to support this ‘empire’ by his two sons, Niccolò (CEO) and Filippo (Creative Director).
For them, Egypt has hosted for the first time an international fashion show, opening the doors of two of its most important temples to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the prestigious Florentine brand with a huge event.
A gala dinner among the ancient and stout columns of the temple of Luxor and the fashion show in the temple of Hatshepsut, one of the few female pharaohs in the history of Egypt, and certainly the greatest. Temples dedicated to Amon, patron saint of Thebes, and to Amon-Ra, the fusion of the god with the God of the sun, becoming one of the most powerful deities in Egyptian mythology.
Four hundred guests from fifty countries had the opportunity to attend this unique and unrepeatable evening.
Forty-five models who walked the catwalk along the imposing staircase wearing the ninety pieces, all made in Italy of the exclusive and exciting collection, specifically designed for this special night. Most of the clothes were created also with the contribution of the Antico Setificio Fiorentino, a historic Italian company renowned for its excellent craftsmanship which still produces fine handmade fabrics using 18th-century looms.
Not a retrospective but a contemporary celebration of luxury in ancient Egypt and the style of Stefano Ricci with innovative ideas for the future of fashion.
Some of the garments were specially designed for gala evenings, dinner jackets in jacquard fabric embellished with drawings of hieroglyphs, guru jackets worthy of a modern pharaoh. A triumph of gold, blue and red colours inspired by the Valley of the Kings, an innovative look for a safari desert and knitwear enhanced with the purest whites. And also silk shirts as a tribute to Nelson Mandela among the many personalities who have worn Stefano Ricci clothes in these last 50 years.
The show was opened by the powerful and vibrant voice of Andrea Bocelli who for the occasion wore a very elegant white suit. Beneath a full moon, he sang Verdi’s Celeste Aida, followed by Follow me sung together with his son Matteo and by soprano Susanna Rigacci who performed an aria by Ennio Morricone. Finally, for the grand finale, between spectacular light shows, Stefano Ricci descended the stairs of the Temple of Hatshepsut accompanied by his son Filippo while Andrea Bocelli sang Nessun Dorma from Turandot.
A dream come true for Stefano Ricci. The perfect summation of his love for Italian style - of which he is one of the most eminent ambassadors - the cult of greatness and beauty that only in a few other places in the world was as ancient and majestic as Egypt, and a land, Africa, which he has always loved and has a special relationship with, which stimulates his passion for nature and adventure, also evidenced by the symbol of the Maison: the eagle.