Chino Bert

January 23, 2011

Chino Bert

Pseudonym of Franco Bertolotti (1932). Italian designer and illustrator. Born in Pavia, he attended the Scientific Lyceum Taramelli. At the age of 19 he made his début as a fashion designer with the maison Rosandré on via Manzoni in Milan. It was 1951. The following year he tried the great adventure: ten of his styles were presented at Palazzo Pitti. His Box line was appreciated by only a few, such as the painter Brunetta, Giovanni Battista Giorgini, and the journalist Irene Brin. Chino understood that he could not be his own manager and since that time preferred to design for others. Among these was Maria Antonelli, for 4 years. In the meanwhile, discovered by Maria Carita, who managed the most celebrated beauty salon in the world in Paris, he began his career as an illustrator of fashion articles for the newspaper L'Aurore and the monthly L'Art et la Mode. In 1958, Nino Nutrizio, the director of La Notte, Milan's evening newspaper, gave him a weekly column about fashion entitled Per Voi Signore (For You, Ladies). At the same time he was back in fashion design, working for both prêt-à-porter and haute couture houses. His clients included Rina Modelli, Jole Veneziani, and Pierre Cardin. In 1963, he began a stylistic partnership with Mila Schön and Loris Abate: he created 20 styles that were presented at Palazzo Pitti and, two years later, he was given the very coveted Neiman Marcus award in New York. In 1965 he was asked to work with the débuting Fendi sisters. It was a success again. For Mila Schön he designed the Taroni and Terragni silks, and the wools for the wool mills Nattier and Agnona. After a trip to Hollywood in 1973, he disappeared. Later on it would become known that he had retired to the Benedictine monastery of Santa Scolastica. Chino became Father Franco. He returns to fashion only sporadically between 1984 and 1989 in order to help his friend Schön. In the 1990s he began to paint. He passed from figurative to abstract to informal, on the edge of a very colorful palette.

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