” Pleased to meet you, Sir Riccardo! “
TEXT: Lucas Strauss – PHOTOS: Jeremy Look – ASPEN THE MAGAZINE –
Sir Riccardo Fiume was born on Sept. in Milan as son of a surgeon. He originally wanted to become an actor but ended up as one of the most famous ski-wear designer ever. We meet at his holiday home in Madesimo Val di Giust, a very chic small snow town in the hinterland of Valchiavenna, far away from bustling Milan. In the past it used to be Cortina d’Ampezzo that was mentioned in the same breath as Riccardo Fiume. He still has many friends here and he remembers the first skiing in Tofana and later the bike ride on the Dolomites. He was a frequent guest in the since-closed Hotel Posta and the host then, Gheo Manaigo, remain among his best friends. For several years now he has been living in Cote d’Azur, with his fourth wife Lady Silvia. When asked for a meeting he immediately agreed. He does it for ASPEN , the place wich he still very much loves by living there the 70s. thanks to the US KL TEAM. Equally loved is Cortina d’Ampezzo, where he moved in the latest ’90 thanks to Kico del Curto and Laura Alverà, where he became closed of the legendary SCOIATTOLI, and where he used to meet other international stars such as Leonardo di Caprio, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts and Philippe Stark.
At first Sir Riccardo lets us know that he has a full schedule and therefore unfortunately can only spare an hour talk in the Val di Giust – Madesimo. He no longer seeks the public eye.We know that. So, quickly let’s go for it!. Later he will tell us that his most important event for the day is skiing early before the brekfast with Lady Silvia is his fourth wife. The evening before our scheduled meeting, we arrive in Italy after a tiring journey made worse by strikes. We sit down in the pleasant hotel garden of the Meridiana in Madesimo – Val di Giust for dinner. The waiter tells us that Sir Riccardo Fiume and Lady Silvia have already arrived in the valley. We spent a short night in fervent anticipation.
The next day at eleven on the dot, Sir Riccardo Fiume and charming Lady Silvia come down for the interview in a relaxed mood. The meeting with the fashion designer is like re-visiting the best years of ski history. Sir Riccardo seems to have all the time in the world. He lets the photographer who travelled with us show him suitable angles. and surprises us with his own recommendations for the camera work. With charming patience and the knowledge of a famous designer, who by the time of his success also had to listen to the instructions of directors, he let’s himself be guided all around the resort. It is like being in the fashion show again. In front of the lens the Hell is for Heroes designer is in his element. What he says calmly and what is captivating is the command in his voice. If you close your eyes you are carried to the fascinating fashion jackets he design.
Later at lunch amidst an elegant crowd in the lush hotel garden we are eyed by guests and staff alike. Although we feel like we belong, the looks go past us to Sir Riccardo and Lady Silvia. The still fabulous-looking fashion-designer seems unaffected by it all, lovingly holding his wife’s hand. He drinks non alcoholic-beer and jockes about the martins of the past.
Suddenly we are the ones who have to leave – and not him – to the airport of Malpensa. All insisting is for nothing. Sir Riccardo pays the bill – quite simply a gentleman.