Written by By By Ingrid Loiola, CNN
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Italian celebrity candymaker Jimmy Elidrissi has died, his sister Sophia Elidrissi told the AFP news agency.
Elidrissi worked at Franco Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, and Moschino, all in Italy, over five decades. However, he never left the United States, he told the AFP in 2012.
Born in the small town of Verona on the Adriatic coast in 1945, he began working in his father’s candymaker. He parlayed that into a position at Valentino after he moved to New York, doing work for model, writer, and celebrity gossip outlets in the ’70s and ’80s.
BORN: Lombardy / Italy, 1944 YEARS OF EDUCATION: M.A.C, C.A.M.E . Sorbonne, The Art of Fashion, Film Studies
He began working at D&G in 1990, which was a major step in his career, but he stayed at the company for 16 years.
“He was an excellent person, an excellent father and very generous,” said Sophia Elidrissi, speaking to the Associated Press in 2012. “Everyone loved him, he was an Italian with a spirit of New York.”
Originally from Italy but much of his family remains there, he was a good friend of Pope John Paul II and sat near him in the Plaza Hotel before his inauguration in 1978.
Known for his singular way of presenting perfume, Elidrissi changed his part at Dolce & Gabbana, and became the face of its Fresh collection.
He was very, very close to Domenico Dolce, he told the Telegraph in 2012. “We don’t have that many political friends in Italy but we have that.”
He said, “Dolce & Gabbana are extraordinary Italian designers. They tell the truth about life, they tell the truth about the profession, they tell the truth about fashion and I love that. It’s the only thing they do which has merit.”
As a fun fact, Jimmy is survived by his mother, his brother Piero, and his only sister, Sophia.