Pino Grasso

Pino Grasso abandoned his medical studies to pursue his passion for embroidery in the 1950s. He completed an apprenticeship in the craft working in various workshops in Italy and perfected his skill in various techniques in Paris with Alfred Gaydan and Alexandre (braids and trims) and the firms Lecocq Riou Seler and Rech (sequins), building a close friendship along the way with the celebrated François Lesage.

Embroidery and Lace

In 1958 he opened his own embroidery firm in Milan, initially performing all stages of the work himself. Today the firm employs 15 people, including his daughter Raffaella, and boasts an archive of some 10,000 embroidery samples.

Grasso has worked with leading fashion designers, including Shubert, Mila Schön, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferrè, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Dolce e Gabbana, Gai Mattiolo, Bottega Veneta, Emilio Pucci, Cavalli, Etro, Prada, Gucci, René Caovilla, Givenchy, Tom Ford, Vionnet and many others.

He has appeared in dozens of publications, both on-line and in print. Garments embroidered by Pino Grasso Ricami have been featured in haute couture publications and the firm is now a case study for university students. Its work was featured in 2011 in the exhibition “Mestieri d’arte, moda d’autore” at Palazzo Marino, Milan. Other exhibitions have included “Capi d’opera. Le eccellenze del saper fare a Milano e in Lombardia”, 2012, in Palazzo Morando in Milan, and “Transmettre. Percorsi di sapere”, 2014, at the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.

In 2016, garments embroidered by Pino Grasso Ricami were featured at the NSU Art Museum in Florida in “Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945–1968”.

Awards, Honours and Teaching Appointments

  • 2010
    Rotary International District 2040 Award.
  • 2010
    Talent du Luxe et de la Création, first prize in the category “Invention”
  • 2014
    “Milano Produttiva” Diploma and gold medal from the Milan Chamber of Commerce for 46 years of business.
  • Dal 2015
    Embroidery and crochet courses at the workshop.
    Seminars and lessons at various institutions in Milan, including the Polytechnic University, IULM University, the Domus Academy, the Marangoni Institute, Accademia del Lusso School of Fashion & Design, the IED, the New Academy of Fine Arts–NABA, and IPSC Caterina da Siena High School, and in Genoa at the IP Duchessa di Galliera High School.