Anna Piaggi passed away today at the age of 81. News of her death broke this morning when her friend Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana tweeted “RIP Anna Piaggi… :((((( ciao grande Anna!!!” The news was later confirmed by Italian newspaper La Reppublica.
The journalist and icon beloved for her outsized fashion sense has been a fixture at runway shows for decades. Bill Cunningham has called her “a poet with clothes,” Manolo Blahnik deemed her “The world’s last great authority on frocks.” She has famously served as longtime muse to Karl Lagerfeld, who even published an entire book–Fashion Journal–as testament to Piaggi’s style, documenting her best looks through hundreds of sketches.
Besides her inimitable style, dyed hair and playful use of makeup, Piaggi was best known for her graphic, whimsical double page spreads in Vogue Italia, where she’s worked in various capacities since 1988.