Manuela Pavesi began her over-40 year career at Italian Vogue working as a stylist and fashion editor. However, she was best known as Miuccia Prada ’s right-hand woman in her role as fashion coordinator for Prada. Pavesi’s womanly, charming and offbeat aesthetic helped Miuccia Prada forge the brand into the directional authority and international player it is today. She sadly succumbed to a longterm illness in March 2015.
Born in 1949, Pavesi studied liberal arts before joining Vogue Italia in 1972. During her time at Vogue, Pavesi collaborated with some of fashion’s greatest photographers, including Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Guy Bourdin and Albert Watson, publishing a book with the latter in 1988 entitled Prada a Milano: Fotografata da Albert Watson.
Her experiences with these photographers would lead Pavesi to leave Vogue in 1992 to begin her own photographic career, shooting for Purple, Grey, L’Uomo Vogue, i-D, Dazed & Confused and Japanese Vogue, among others.
J.W. Anderson, a past employee at Prada, remembered to BoF, “She had a very sharp eye. I liked the way that she mixed things. I remember, one day, her turning up to work in a polka dot jacket, pyjamas and a pair of wedges, and I remember thinking: ‘You are the woman I want to know, you are the woman.’ There are not many times in your life you’re going to meet someone like that.”
Pavesi will be remembered as an original and widely influential figure who approached her work with great humour and focus.