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Rock 'N' Roll dominated the stages, and young stars like James Dean became heroes.

The Second World War was finally over, and life was looking up. The decade was one of reconstruction. This fresh landscape bred conflict. Communism battled Capitalism and parents clashed with their teens. Rock 'N' Roll dominated the stages, and young stars like James Dean became heroes. 1959 saw the untimely death of Buddy Holly, the communist takeover of Cuba and the birth of a sportswear empire. A youthful Leonardo Servadio rebelled against his surroundings and decided to put a name to his clothing creations. His forename and surname initials were put together and ellesse was born.

Change was the buzz word of this decade. Space was being explored, the young were swinging, and boundaries were being pushed on a daily basis. Conformity was a thing of the past. This general mood of counterculture peaked in 1968 the year that allegedly changed the world with students and workers standing proud in protests worldwide, and The Beatles releasing a number of the world's best ever selling records. Alongside this, a humble Umbrian tailor Leonardo Servadio would change the face of sportswear forever. 1968 saw the invention of the iconic ellesse Ski Jet Pant combining design and technology together like no other before. With no qualms he also counteracts the general rules of design by placing the ellesse 'penguin' logo on the outside of garments. Both breakthroughs were timeless and live on today.

The decade was one of complete liberation. New cultures and fashions formed, with Disco and Glam dominating the cities underground scenes. Sex was celebrated rather than stigmatized. A sense of freedom was rife in the air. The ellesse brand grew in harmony with its cultural surroundings and Leonardo upped the brand's 'glam'. Italy's best skiers were head to toe in ellesse's innovative stylish designs and the ellesse Calendar Girls were introduced, shot by famous Playboy photographers. ellesse's sex appeal dominates the Italian nation on and off the piste, from the Italian football team to the nation's president. A proud Leonardo develops the ellesse logo into the now famous 'semi palla', combining a tennis ball and ski tips.

The 1980's was an era of complete excess; everywhere you looked there was opulence and ostentation. The world was living life to the fullest, and so was ellesse. ellesse’s sponsorship regime was highly visible, ensuring that all of the world’s winners were wearing the brand… Becker, Vilas and Evert reined the tennis courts, Ferrari roared in Formula one, the Italian football team becomes World Champions, Gianni Poli wins the NYC Marathon, Marc Giradelli becomes the skiing world champion. ellesse was now a lifestyle brand with a 360 degree appeal, from sports stars such as Muhammad Ali, to the royal family and even the new breed of football casuals. ellesse was the ultimate status brand.

The true dawn of the information age saw computers integrated into society's day to day lives. Technological advancements defined the era, and the under current was defined by 'grunge' and 'rave' movements of the new youth generation. An older and content Leonardo, hands over his successful 'baby' into the modern hands of Pentland Group Plc, who take the brand in a new post modern direction. In co-ordination with the 'era of technology' the brand creates the 'Pneu System', an air cushion built into tennis shoes to offer elite protection and then a year later the 'Magic Air' ski jacket, that raises the internal temperature of the garment. Generally the lavish living of the 1980's becomes more subdued, and in harmony ellesse moves from the mainstream to the underground. Ellesse becoming popular within the US rap scene, worn by the likes of Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith, but also an iconic brand within the UK rave scene worn by teenagers across the nation.


This decade saw the World Wide Web change the way we live and function. The world becomes smaller with globalization, and post modernity takes centre stage socially. The brand turns 50 years of age with a lavish celebration in Rome, and the heritage sub division of the brand is launched. This captures the nostalgic appeal of the ellesse brand, and reissues celebrated iconic retro pieces. The new millennium sees ellesse partner up with a number of iconic status brands, including Eley Kishimito, Wood Wood, Piaggio and the James Bond poster illustrator Robert McGinnis reinforcing its status within the global arena. From sports, to fashion and beyond.