Fulco di Verdura
Fulco Santostefano della Cerda, Duke of Verdura, was born in Palermo, Sicily in 1898 into an aristocratic family. After he left school, Fulco joined the army in 1916 and was quickly promoted, this career was short lived as he sustained a serious shoulder injury. He was sent home to recuperate. When home in Sicily he meshed well with high society and was introduced to Coco Chanel by his friends Cole and Linda Porter. By 1927 Fulco found himself in Paris working with Chanel as a textile designer and then he became a jewelry designer. In 1934 he left Paris for New York where he worked for Paul Flato before setting up his own boutique, with the financial backing of Cole Porter and Vincent Astor. He opened at 712 Fifth Avenue in 1939. In 1941 he collaborated with Salvador Dali on a collection of pieces and continued mixing with high society all around the United States. The café society of New York during the 40’s and 50’s suited lifestyle. His success continued through the 1960’s and he was courted by Cartier who were eager to collaborate yet he declined their offer. In 1972 he sold his business and retired to London. Fulco finished an autobiography, published in 1976, and pursued his social life he passed away in 1978.