DALLAS, Sep 29, 2001 (Updated Mar 16, 2009) / FW/ — Nicknamed the ‘Queen of Cashmere’ by the New York Times due to her refined and unusual approach in using this precious yarn, Laura Biagiotti was born in Rome in 1943.

Laura Biagiotti and Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna on the runway, Fall 2009
Laura Biagiotti and Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna on the runway, Fall 2009

She studied literature expecting to become an archeologist, but them she started helping out at her mother’s (Delia Biagiotti, who designed the uniforms for Alitalia staff in 1964) dressmaking business, and Laura Biagiotti was forever joined to fashion.

Showing her first collection in Florence in 1972, and working since 1980 in the Roman countryside, living in an 11th century castle that she restored together with her husband Gianni Cigna (d. 1996).

In 1992, Laura Biagiotti received the Woman of the Year award in New York. In 1993, she was given the “Marco Polo” award in Beijing for having brought Italian industry to China. Laura Biagiotti was the first Italian designer to present a collection China (April 1988). In 1995 she received the Knights of Labor award from Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.

In 2001 she was the first Italian designer to receive the prestigious “Prix Femmes D’Europe” for her contribution in promoting women’s participation in the development of a unified Europe.

In 2002 she celebrated the 30th anniversary in fashion, and in her honor, the Postal Service issued a 41 Euro cent stamp honoring the designer and portraying a long dress inspired by classic Roman style.

Photo courtesy of Laura Biagiotti

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