The house of Nina Ricci
Maria “Nina” Ricci, the daughter of a ribbon maker, was Italian by birth. Her outstanding skills as a seamstress led to her working as a premier at Raffin, one of Paris’s most feted houses, by the time she was 25, in the early years of the 20th century. In 1932, at age 49—and with a son, Robert, by her husband, jeweler Luigi Ricci—she founded her own label. Nina’s technical virtuosity and respect for elegance coupled with Robert’s pioneering marketing prowess proved to be a winning combination. Aimed at the comparatively larger crowd of society’s well-heeled women more than at the smaller orbit of movie stars and princesses, the Nina Ricci label was as timeless as it was chic, and it soon acquired a client base to rival that of any other major French house.
To make women beautiful, to bring out the charm of each one’s personality. But also to make life more beautiful, that has always been my ambition, and that is the underlying philosophy of Nina Ricci. —Robert Ricci
Nina Ricci appoints Guillaume Henry as creative director. A bit more about the boy; Guillaume Henry is a French born fashion designer. He began his studies at the Duperré school before joining the Institut Français de la Mode in Paris. At the age of 21, he launched his own brand, a short-lived project soon followed by an internship at Givenchy in 2003. After finishing his studies, Guillaume Henry returned to Givenchy and within a year, he had made a name for himself under the creative direction of Julien MacDonald. He worked anonymously on many of the brand’s capsule collections, including a tee-shirt line. When Julien MacDonald left Givenchy in 2005, Guillaume Henry was named senior designer alongside Riccardo Tisci, the house’s new creative director.
The following year, Guillaume Henry left Givenchy to join the Paule Ka team. There, he spent three years perfecting his sweater and dressmaking techniques. In 2009, the designer was named creative director of the fashion house Carven. He presented his first collection for the 60 year old house in October of the same year. Light silk dresses, graphic prints, mini-shorts and leather jackets all featured in his vision of Spring/Summer 2010. Under the direction of Guillaume Henry, Carven found the energy behind its elegant designs again, both simple and structured, celebrating the Parisian style.