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Published
Dec 2, 2021
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Designer Adolfo dies at 98

Published
Dec 2, 2021

New-York based designer Adolfo Sardinia died at his Manhattan home on Saturday at age 98. 

Designer Adolfo dies at 98. - CAFA


The designer, known by his given name, was born in Cuba, in 1933. He started his career in Paris as an apprentice to Cristobal Balenciaga, and went on to make a name for himself in New York City as a milliner for Bragaard and Bergdorf Goodman, and later, Emme, in the early 1950s. 

Come 1962, he opened his own millinery studio creating custom clothing for style icons including the likes of Gloria Vanderbilt, Babe Paley and C.Z. Guest. In fact, he also made clothes for the Duchess of Windsor, who would introduce him to Betsy Bloomingdale and later to Nancy Reagan, who would become a faithful customer. Adolfo dressed Nancy for both of her husband Ronald Reagan’s presidential inaugurations, in a red dress and and coat in 1981, and an electric blue dress and coat in 1985.

In 1993, he closed his East 57th Street couture salon to focus on his licensing business, Adolfo Enterprises Inc.

Private funeral services will be held on Dec. 9 at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church, and will be followed by a burial at Restland Memorial Park in East Hanover, N.J., according to Thomas Valek of the John Krtil Funeral Home and WWD.

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