Laura Biagiotti, born in Rome under the sign of Leo, is one of Italy’s greatest fashion designers. Since 1980 she has lived and worked in the Roman countryside, in the 11th century Marco Simone Castle that was lovingly restored to its ancient splendor after years of patient renovation, together with her husband Gianni Cigna, who passed away prematurely in August 1996.
Laura Biagiotti’s interest in fashion began in the Sixties when she followed in the footsteps of her mother Delia Soldaini Biagiotti, the founder of a fashion atelier. Laura’s daughter Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna entered the family business in 1997 and became the company’s Vice President in 2005.
Laura Biagiotti is famous around the globe for her extraordinary fashions: the New York Times dubbed her the “Queen of Cashmere” due to her love for this precious yarn that she has used since her first collection with a refined, unusual approach, evolving into a dimension of style unheard of at the time.
In 1992, Laura Biagiotti received the Woman of the Year award in New York. In 1993, she received the Marco Polo award in Beijing for having brought Italian industry to China.
In 1995, Laura Biagiotti received the Knights of Labor award from Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro for her long career in the fashion industry and her contribution in making Italian fashion famous worldwide.
Laura Biagiotti was the President of the Leonardo Committee, composed of prominent Italians in the fields of industry, art and culture, from 2000 to 2008, and became its Honorary President in 2009.
In 2001, she was the first designer to receive the prestigious Prix Femmes D’Europe for her contribution in promoting women’s participation in the development of a unified Europe.
In 2002, Laura Biagiotti celebrated the 30th anniversary of her career, having made her debut with her first collection in Florence in 1972. That year, she received several awards from around the world, including the Marisa Bellisario Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Council of Italian Fashion, which was presented during the Donna sotto le stelle fashion show broadcast live from the Spanish Steps in Rome. In 2002, the Italian Postal Service issued a 41 Euro cent stamp honoring the designer and portraying a long dress inspired by classic Roman style.
Laura Biagiotti is the first fashion designer to have compiled a chapter on Italian fashion for the Treccani Encyclopedia in the Book of the Year 2004.
In July 2004, Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni presented Laura Biagiotti with the Lupa Capitolina award during a day rich in events devoted to the designer and motivated by her great love and knowledge of the Eternal City.
In February 2006, Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna accepted an award in Moscow on her mother’s behalf from Ksenia Gorbaciova, the granddaughter of President Mikhail Gorbaciov, celebrating Laura’s accomplishment as the first Italian designer to present a collection in Russia back in 1995.
In September 2007, Laura Biagiotti received the Crystal Lion Lifetime Achievement – Venice Casino Award during a gala evening held at the conclusion of the 64th Venice International Film Festival.
In January 2011 Laura Biagiotti was appointed by the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano the Leonardo Award, that for the first time in history has been given to a woman who is a shining example of Italian excellence worldwide.