French couturier, Nina Ricci, is one of the oldest fashion houses in Paris. Unlike Schiaparelli and Chanel, Ricci did not try and reinvent the wheel in terms of fashion. Her classic designs have stood the test of time and allowed her label to flourish into the 21st century. Ricci began dressmaking and worked as an apprentice for many years in Paris. It wasn’t until the age of 50 that she launched her own line in 1932 with the support of her son Richard. Ricci designed garments by psychically draping them on the body and said that dressmaking was like problem solving. She relied on her intuition and deep knowledge of garment construction when she designed her ultra feminine garments. Ricci liked to embellish with gathers and tucks in the fabric and favored figure hugging styles that highlighted the waist and bust.
Nina retired from the brand in the early 1950’s and her son Robert took full control of the business. In 1999, Nathalie Gervais, formerly of Gucci and Valentino, came in to reignite the fashion house. She steered away from the older staples and added new, trendy designs taking inspiration from Indian and Russian textiles.