A vintage 80s ad for Italian fashion brand, Fiorucci featuring Divine. Art by Richard Bernstein
“Went to Fiorucci and it’s so much fun there. It’s everything I’ve always wanted, all plastic.”
—Andy Warhol diary entry for December 21, 1983
Although Fiorucci was a global brand, it was the NYC store where Elio Fiorucci’s visionary day-glo retailing vision was best realized. Everyone from Jackie O to Andy Warhol spent time hanging out and shopping at Fiorucci—a glammy New York store that was fondly referred to as the “daytime Studio 54.” From the late 70s and most of the 80s the clothing brand founded by Elio Fiorucci in Milan was a fashion trendsetter and can be credited with many looks that defined the era. Like primary colors and “neon” fabrics, form-fitting “stretch” denim jeans and the accessories that were worn by a young Madonna, thanks to Fiorucci’s art director, jewelry designer Maripol who styled her iconic look. (Ms. Ciccone even performed at the store’s 1983 anniversary party). Maripol also dressed the likes of Grace Jones and another New York fashion icon, Debbie Harry. Keith Haring would draw on the walls. Kenny Scharf did his first art show there. Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine had office space in the store for a while, too, and it was pretty difficult to turn up at the store—across from Bloomingdale’s flagship on 59th and Lexington Ave—and not see someone incredibly famous.
Madonna and her dancers
And since this is New York we’re talking about, one of the store’s most popular employees (he was the manager) flamboyant performance artist Joey Arias appeared with David Bowie and Klaus Nomi on what would become one of the most infamous episodes of Saturday Night Live on December 15th, 1979. Because everybody was somebody in New York back then. Fashion designer Betsey Johnson
I was recently made aware of the fact that earlier this month high-end UK retailer Selfridges debuted a pop-up shop where you could actually purchase items from Fiorucci’s classic clothing catalog. Everything from the brand’s famous denimwear to an accessory I have been obsessed with since I was skating around the roller rink to Sister Sledge (who sang about the store), Fiorucci patches. Selfridges even provided a service where you could have a vintage patch, which were created in 1984, affixed to the item of your choosing. If you missed that, like I sadly did, the store is now carrying a number of new Fiorucci items including some cool, vibrantly colored t-shirts with the brand’s neon, zig-zagging logo on the front. Below I’ve posted an array of images from Fiorucci ad campaigns, marketing posters as well as a few of the vintage patches sold at the Selfridges’ pop-up store.
Sunglasses are encouraged to protect your eyes. Some are NSFW.
The famous Fiorucci logo
One of the vintage Fiorucci patches sold at Selfridges earlier this month.
A better look at Fiorucci’s “swordfish girl.”
A strange ice cream-themed vintage patch by Fiorucci.
Another vintage Fiorucci patch as sold at the Selfridges pop-up store.
A vintage Fiorucci shopping bag with the same cowgirl image, only more clear.
The impossibly cool Fiorucci paper cutout doll.
A feature on Fiorucci with Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias from NBC’s ‘Real People.’
Andy Warhol signing his ‘America’ book in Fiorucci on Valentines Day 1986. Variously seen in this video are Tina Chow, Joey Arias, Phoebe Legere, Warhol’s boyfriend Billy Boy, Pulsallama’s April Palmieri, Christina Downing, James St. James and NYC club promoter Erich Conrad. Dangerous Minds editor Richard Metzger was there, but is not seen except for his camera’s flash going off as Warhol signs Erich Conrad’s book. Video by Nelson Sullivan.