Romeo Gigli was born in Bologna, Italy in 1951. He comes from a wealthy aristocratic family. His childhood was saturated in art history and over 20,000 antiquarian books in his father's library, over which he pored. These gave him an appreciation of beauty which underlies his work. He studied architecture for a short period but decided that designing clothes was what he wanted to do most.
Gigli did his first fashion designs in 1972 and set up his own label, manufactured by the Novara based company Zamasport, in 1983.
From his first collection in 1984, he brought a new look to Italian fashion, replacing its tailored, colourful traditions with a subtle colour range and fluid garments which would be widely influential. Often made of stretch fabrics, his clothes gently drape the body in a classical sense, but are thoroughly modern in treatment in the manner and angles at which they fasten or attach, or in their unexpected exaggerated shapes,
Gigli's womenswear designs are essentially romantic. His velvet and embroidered capes and boleros and his wrapped tops and skirts, were highly successful during the mid-80's. His palette is subdued but deeply vibrant and ultimately highly sophisticated.
In 1991, he separated from his business partners Donato Maiano and Carla Sozzani and restructured his business. His house is now a million dollar concern. In 1991, England's Bath Costume Museum chose one of Romeo Gigli's creations as its 1991 dress of the year, it was a midnight blue velvet pantsuit with a blouse of streaky sunset strips and a gilt-embroidered cummerbund.
Throughout the 90's he has gone from success to success and is now one of the most creative and innovative Italian designers heading a world-wide fashion empire. In 1993, Romeo Gigli introduced a new line, the G GIGLI (G for giovane) Line of clothes, including jackets and trousers, that is interchangeable for both women and men. It is for young people.