Born in Milan in 1959, Rita Dell Orco started out in the top level hairdressing world at Severgini, rubbing shoulders with a highly prestigious clientele. After an apprenticeship lasting four years in the salon, her desire to concentrate on her creativity and originality led her to the more elite and artistic world of fashion hairdressing.In 1983 after meeting Aldo Coppola, a symbolic figure in fashion hairdressing in Italy, she joined his team and became his assistant. She then started to work on a number of fashion shows in Rome and Milan such as Versace, Armani, Missoni and Trussardi. Already collaborating with Valentino, she was also part of the team for his shows. Continuing her work with Coppola she worked regularly in the studio on photos for Italian magazines such as Vogue, Donna.Eager to gain independence and open herself up to an international market, she then decided to start up a freelance agency creating the opportunity to work, still in association with the Coppola fashion house, for the French press.This was the start of a period of collaboration with foreign photographers for French magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Marie-Claire. She worked with many of the big names in the fashion industry such as Giampaolo Barbieri, Javier Vallhonrat, Fabrizio Ferri, Wayne Mayser and Michel Comte. As a result of meeting Comte and another French photographer Dominique Issermann, she made the decision to leave Milan definitively.She moved to Paris in 1988 and started a long list of collaborations on fashion and beauty advertising campaigns with top fashion photographers: with Herb Ritts she was involved in the Gianfranco Ferre campaign; with Tyen she worked for Dior and Christian Lacroix. With Dominique Issermann she contributed to the Nina Ricci L Air du Temps televison commercial and the 1881 Cerruti campaign; and with Wayne Mayser the Fidji campaign where she styled the supermodel Linda Evangelista.She subsequently met Helmut Newton, Peter Lindberg, Mario Testino, Steven Klein and other photographers such as Francois Halard and Bettina Rheims and took part in shoots for the fashion press. Her name was regularly in French magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, L Officiel Madame Figaro and Cosmopolitan amongst others. Her collaborations spread to the international press: the UK, Germany, Spain and the US.At the same time, she was solicited for Pret a Porter and Haute Couture fashion shows for Chloe, Castelbajac, Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, Miyake, Hermes, Prada and more recently Jean Paul Gaultier, Miu-Miu, Krizia and Y s the Yamamoto imprint.Very much in demand from showbusiness personalities, she regularly flew around the world with many of her faithful clients. She has also styled hair for actresses such as Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau, Audrey Tautou and Kristin Scott Thomas for articles in the New Yorker and the Sunday Times.After 20 years as a hairstylist, Rita Dell Orco today counts among the references of the fashion industry. A creative and intuitive personality she knows perfectly how to adapt and work with the biggest names. Her vast experience means that she does not hesitate to explore new paths and get involved in new and ever more creative projects, drawing on her skills and know-how.

Laura Smet ph Mark Homme-2-Edit

© Rita Dell' Orco