Marella Agnelli at Home, Horst P. Horst, 1967
Regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most glamorous and cultured women, Marella Agnelli led an incredibly fascinating life married to Gianni Agnelli, also known as “the rake of the Riviera,” for his love of fast cars, sailboats, clothing, and beautiful women. Gianni’s sisters introduced him to the stunning Marella and thought she was the only lady suitable for their brother. The famous Agnelli fortune was made In the early 19th century when their father Giuseppe planted mulberry trees for silkworms on his estate in Villar Peroso. This incredibly successful venture led him to launch Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino, aka Fiat. which his son Gianni ran for 30 years.
Richard Avedon nicknamed her “The Swan” in 1953 after taking this iconic portrait of her below. Throughout her lifetime, Marella collaborated with the best artists and designers of her day, offering her gardens and residences as their canvases that spread throughout Turin, Rome, Milan, New York, St. Moritz, and Marrakech. The projects range from classic to ultramodern filled with amazing art and groundbreaking decorating innovations.