MILAN (Reuters) – Marella Agnelli, the 91-year-old wife of late Fiat Chairman Gianni Agnelli, died on Saturday at her home in Turin, the Agnelli family said in a statement.
Born in Florence to Neapolitan Prince Filippo Caracciolo, a diplomat, and Illinois heiress Margaret Clarke, Marella married the grandson of Fiat’s founder Giovanni Agnelli in 1953.
The couple had two children, Edoardo and Margherita, mother of current Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann.
A style icon, Marella was famous for her long and elegant neck, reminiscent of Modigliani’s women, which earned her the nickname The Swan and inspired famous portraits by photographer Richard Avedon.
Prior to her marriage, Marella had started a career in photography in New York as an assistant to Erwin Blumenfeld, before returning to Italy and continuing to work as a photographer for Vogue publisher Conde Nast.
In the 1970s she started designing patterns for home decoration fabrics for a number of manufacturers in Italy and abroad.
Passionate about interior designing and gardening, she published several books about gardens, including the autobiography The Last Swan written with her niece in 2014.
(Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Edmund Blair)