How I discovered Franca Polacco, The Venetian Queen of Fashion

How I discovered Franca Polacco, The Venetian Queen of Fashion

One of my favourite things about finding and selling vintage is researching the label to find out a bit more about the garment. Sometimes this is pretty straightforward with the more well known designers and manufacturers but sometimes it takes you somewhere really unexpected … 

Take this Italian jacket …

It’s a super vibrant piece with bags of Italian style but I was quite surprised by the secrets revealed by the label “ Creazioni Franca”.

The only information I could find about the label was in Italian and that’s when things started to get interesting.

Creazioni Franca was created by Franca Polacco (1930 - 2020) the Venetian Queen of Fashion but this is not where her design story starts. 

Franca’s fashion journey started when she returned to Venice after a period of exile during WW2. It began with her sewing food bags to top up her family’s income and then in her spare time she began to create embroidered shawls, bags, slippers and skirts for girls. These  beautiful hand embroidered shawls were soon noticed by a well know Venetian boutique, ‘ La Piavola de Franca ‘ who signed an exclusivity contract with Franca and sold these shawls under their own label.

After this, Franca wanted to do things her way by producing limited collections of elegant and original clothes with handmade finishes under the label ‘Creazioni Franca’. Yes, our jacket’s label ! These pieces were sold to boutiques and some elegant English and American suppliers. 

The extra interesting thing is during the fifties whilst she was creating under this label she worked very closely with textile designer , Elda Cecchele who is famous for creating her own handmade fabrics and worked with many well known Italian designers before collaborating with Franca on ‘Creazioni Franca’. 
It was the unique fabrics she created for Franca to work with that gave the label its niche in the boutique market.

So excitingly it seems that this beautiful jacket must date from this period and therefore have been either a one off or produced in very limited quantities, designed and created by Franca with fabric made by Elda. 

Frustratingly, I can’t find anything else under this label when I search and the only piece I was able to find with a Franca Pollaco label was a pair of 1970s jersey trousers which made sense as from the late 60s she worked almost exclusively in jersey. 

The information on Franca herself is scarce and no official records of the company have been preserved. Everything I have learned about her is from an Y.Itali article written by Irina Inguanotto who has pieced together Franca’s story in her book* from   conversations with Franca and others and the collection of photographs and textile samples donated to the Perfume Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo in Venice by Franca’s daughter. 

 So I now have part of the story but I’d love to know more … so if you own a ‘Creazioni Franca’ piece or know anything about the label or Franca Polacco or Elda Cecchele or you’d like to share you own exciting vintage discoveries I’d love to hear from you . 

*  Madame Jersey, the Franca Polacco Company in Venice between boutique and prêt a porter Fashion





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Replying to Ann
It really did take me somewhere unexpected this time and fascinating to learn more about Franca Polacco and her work. It seams that she was very influential in that post war period and beyond in Italy so I’m surprised I couldn’t find out more about her outside of Italy. It’s a really pleasure to know more and yes the jacket is something special isn’t it. The colours are still so vibrant .


Researching labels – particularly the more obscure ones – can be truly fascinating, although I know from experience it’s not always easy. I think you managed to find out quite a lot about Franca Polacco! i don’t think I’ve ever come across that label, but will definitely keep my eyes peeled! The jacket is an absolute stunner, by the way. xxx

Ann (Polyester Princess)

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