Lucilla Mara de Vescovi: emblematic woman for the history of ties
Contemporary fashion designers are appreciated for their ability to invent all kinds of dresses or accessories for both men and women. Who knows, perhaps there will be no more a woman like Lucilla Mara de Vescovi, familiar also as Countess Mara. She lived at the turn of the Nineteenth Century and her one and only specialty was the creation of ties. We discovered her amazing history and her contribution to the design of modern ties.
Lucilla Mara de Vescovi was born in Rome in 1893 and in 1926 became the wife of Malcolm D. Whitman, an American tennis champion. The story tells that a few years after their marriage, the two discussed a lot about Whitman’s way of dressing. Lucilla complained that husband’s ties were so “very boring”.
And so the challenge began: Lucilla would have to create a “more intresting” tie for her husband. She accepted enthusiastically the game and started working. Se had to hanble with a number of personal problems, including the death of the same Whitman in 1932.
In the attempt to start again with her life after such a strong pain, Lucilla de Vescovi Whitman started travelling around Europe and finally returned to the United States of America, taking with her many fine fabrics. In 1935 she began her own production of men’s ties.
New York, her adoption city, welcomed with interest and approval these accessories and, in 1938, they were already riding high. The ” exclusive ties ” created by Lucilla were limited, only a few dozen for each model, and of course prices reflected this refinement. The mark CM,i.e. Countess Mara, was used to identify them.
Why did she choose this name? Lucilla de Vescovi was not a noblewoman, but the blue blood was flowing in the veins of her family. Mara was his middle name and the title of Countess was perfect to underline the high class of her creations, to the point that the attempts of imitation and counterfeiting of the trademark ” CM ” began immediately.
From sports to flora, passing through animals hieroglyphs and everyday items to reaching mythological figures and many others patterns , the decorations of the Countess Mara ties had the most diverse subjects but they were in group with one particular thing: soft and simple, never flashy colours. Lucilla de Vescovi Whitman expressed her point of view in an interview published in 1949 on The New York Times: “I think to ties all-day long. At night , when I cannot sleep, I count ties instead of sheep. ( … )
I try to make my ties colorful , interesting , artistic and cheerful, rather than eye-catching and spectacular.”
There are many celebrities and VIPs of the time, including Frank Sinatra, among the admirers of her creations.
A woman like Lucilla De Vescovi / Countess Mara is mostly unknown in our country and, on the same time, an important emblem of the Italian taste and creativity in the world. We can share the same opinion about Andrew ‘s Ties e-commerce site that offerst online to its customers a full range of men’s accessories rigorously Made in Italy: it personifies the best of a decades-long history of the tie making craft tradition.