Emilio Pucci, Marquis of Barsento, founded the brand that bears his name in 1947. He unexpectedly began his career on the Swiss ski slopes, to open his first boutique in Capri in 1950. The first clothes designed by Pucci were for the Reed College skiing team. His designs came to wider attention in 1947, when he was on leave in Zermatt,Switzerland. Skiwear that he had designed for a female friend was photographed by Toni Frissell, a photographer working for Harper’s Bazar. Frissell's editor asked Pucci to design skiwear for a story on European Winter Fashion, which ran in the winter 1948 issue of the Bazaar.
Pucci was the first person to design a one-piece ski suit. Although there had been some experiments with stretch fabrics in Europe before the war, Pucci's sleek designs caused a sensation, and he received several offers from American manufacturers to produce them. Instead, he left the Air Force and set up an Haute Couture house in the fashionable resort of Canzone del Mare on the Isle of Capri.