MILAN – His elegant figure, signature red socks included, encyclopedic fashion knowledge, as well as his diplomacy, will be deeply missed by the Italian fashion circuit.
On Saturday, a few days before turning 93, Beppe Modenese, who was born in Alba, died in Milan.
Dubbed in 1983 by legendary publisher John B. Fairchild on WWD “the Prime Minister of Fashion,” Modenese most recently has been the honorary chairman of the Italian Fashion Chamber.
His carer in fashion started in the Fifties in Florence working with Giovanni Battista Giorgini and together they organized the historic show at Palazzo Pitti’s Sala Banca in 1952 which saw the participation of Roberto Capucci and Emilio Pucci among others.
In 1953, he was among the founders of the Sindacato Italiano Alta Moda, which then became the Italian Chamber of Fashion, that he led for many years.
After a few years spent working for Esteé Lauder and for Chanel, in 1978 he created MODIT, an institution aimed at organizing fashion and costume events.
Modenese, who spent his life with longtime partner architect Piero Pinto, who passed away in 2018, received the Cavaliere honor from the Italian government and in 1994 the Ambrogino d’Oro prize from the City of Milan.