Author(s): Marella Agnelli
The exclusive world of one of the twentieth century's most glamorous and alluring women, as seen through her private homes and gardens. Nicknamed The Swan by Richard Avedon when he photographed her iconic portrait in 1953, Marella Agnelli is not only one of the great beauties of the last century, but also the most elegant and cultured of that exclusive club. Born the Neapolitan princess Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto, she became Marella Agnelli with her marriage to Gianni Agnelli, the Fiat industrialist. However, her innate style dates back to her New York internship with photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, and she was a Vogue contributor in the 1950s and '60s as well as appearing in its pages. One of the most photographed women of the jet-set society, she was captured by Avedon as well as Irving Penn, Henry Clarke, Horst, and Robert Doisneau, among others. Agnelli collaborated with the best artists and designers of her day, with her many residences as their palette. From Italian interior design legend Renzo Mongiardino-who worked on her New York apartment alongside a young Peter Marino-to Gae Aulenti, the important Italian architect, who built her homes in Turin and Marrakech, Agnelli created a series of extraordinary houses and gardens, full of timeless elegance, invaluable art, and ground-breaking decorating ideas. With ten residences spread throughout Turin, Rome, Milan, New York, St. Moritz, and Marrakech, ranging from regally classic villas to ultramodern apartments, her impeccable taste shines through in these gorgeous interiors and gardens. One of the famous modern fairy tales of love, glamour, and heartbreak, Marella Agnelli has become an icon of our times.
Marella Caracciolo Chia is a respected design journalist for Architectural Digest, the New York Times T Magazine, and Vanity Fair, among other prestigious publications.