“My Balla story began in October 1986 when I luckily ended up by chance in a small art gallery of Rome holding a retrospective exhibit of works owned by the Balla family. This is how the beginning of my collection began, as did my friendship with the artist’s daughters Luce and Elica Balla. They allowed me to get to know their father in an almost tangible way, not only as an artistic genius of this century, but also and especially as a gentle artistic soul and enthusiastic poet totally dedicated to his study of art in light, art in movement, and art in spirit.

In the last months of his life, my husband Gianni Cigna organized the first exhibition of the Biagiotti Cigna collection held in the prestigious Pushkin Museum of Moscow in July 1996. Through the donation to Fondazione Biagiotti Cigna, we wanted to continue to promote Gianni’s passion for beauty, his patronage to the arts, and the consolation that Balla’s art gave him during his illness.

I treasure these cherished memories and continue to maintain and promote them through additional personal acquisitions of works by Maestro Giacomo Balla, who was a keen researcher and demanding evolutionist, a “Futurist Genius” and the father of 20th century Italian design. I consider fashion design to be a movement of behavioral art to which I have contributed and continue to contribute passionately through my work as a researcher and enthusiastic art collector.”
Laura Biagiotti



“After the show at the Kremlin in February 1995, I was teasingly referred to as the “Lady in Red”, but “my Russia” dates farther back in time. Mrs. Gromiko attended her first fashion show of a Western designer in my castle in Guidonia in 1982. This event received great coverage in the media, and the New York Times wrote on its first page, “East and West Meet on the Catwalk”. The hours in Moscow are marked by the resounding chimes of the large bell in the Spasskaya Tower, the most beautiful and imposing of the twenty towers surrounding the Kremlin walls. Laura Biagiotti’s fashion hour in Moscow was marked by the light steps of 40 young, lissome Russian models on February 5, 1995, during a presentation of all my collections on the stage of the great theater of the Kremlin. I had recently inaugurated my boutique in Moscow, and during my visit to the Kremlin, I was struck by the great theater that I had seen on TV as a child as the somber backdrop of the USSR Communist Party conventions in the era before Gorbaciov. That past had been buried like a cumbersome dinosaur. Fashion broke through the barrier of the unsatisfied desires of Russian women and made their dreams come true. Fashion is still considered an extraordinary means of communication. My fashion show penetrated the hearts of Russian women and revealed their great desire to look good and to change their image and wardrobe. I like to bring messages where profound social and cultural changes are underway, and in Russia, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I witnessed a revolution in society that was even more profound and radical than in China”.
Laura Biagiotti



“Laura in China: LO.LA.PI.CHIO.TI. That’s how they pronounce my name according to Chinese phonetics. The ideogram of my name, translated, literally means hard work, a love of flowers, competition, pride, elegant woman. It is a colorful and perfect synthesis of my personality.
An old edition of Marco Polo’s book “Il Milione”, took me as a child to the remote and inaccessible corners of China. This far-away land remained hidden at the back of my mind, even through Bernardo Bertolucci with his film “The Last Emperor” evoked more modern images of this mysterious land. In 1987, during a trip to Japan, my husband Gianni and I decided on the spur of the moment to take a detour to Beijing for an extended weekend. China was emerging from the anonymity of the masses and people began expressing their individuality through their clothes. I thought I would like to present Italian fashion – my fashion – in that remote country from which I had been importing fine cashmere yarn for years, which won me the title of “Queen of Cashmere”, which was given to me by the New York Times. Many magical things have occurred in my life. Therefore, on April 25, 1988, I presented the first Italian fashion show in the People’s Republic of China, with a television audience of 200 million Chinese. It was a marvelous adventure. I recall the enigmatic smiles of the 20 elegant, sinuous Chinese models who wore my clothes; the fashion photo shoots amidst an amused, curious crowd under Mao’s portrait on Tiananmen Square and in the Forbidden City; and the visit to the home of the brother of the last emperor Pu Yi, the last representative of the Ching Dynasty. The Chinese fashion show was a present I gave myself in a moment of reflection that turned out to be a fundamental episode in my life”.
Laura Biagiotti


Fashion Diary