Palm Beach fashion designer Jackie Rogers will be featured tonight when a documentary about Italian industrialist and the head of Fiat Gianni Agnelli premieres on HBO.
Rogers, who was once a model and eventually the apprentice of Coco Chanel, was a longtime friend and confidante of Agnelli and is one of nearly 40 of his close friends and family members interviewed in the film, called Agnelli. Others interviewed include Henry Kissinger and Roger Cohen. A young Agnelli noticed Rogers while she was modeling for Chanel in the South of France, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Gianni Agnelli was the king of Italy and to be part of his inner circle was nothing short of spectacular,” Rogers said in a news release.
Agnelli, a charismatic risk-taker, died in 2003 at 81 after leading and inspiring the company that his grandfather founded in Turin in 1899, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“There’s nobody around like him anymore,” she says in the film, the Journal reported. “Because they’re so involved with making money, they’re boring as hell. … Gianni was funny and exciting. He was incredibly alive.”
Rogers attended the documentary’s exclusive screening at La Grenouille restaurant in New York on Dec. 5 along with historian and author Sally Bedell Smith and Italian photographer Priscilla Rattazzi, among others.
Rogers, who has a boutique in The Esplanade, celebrated her brand’s 40th anniversary in March at Via Amore on Worth Avenue with a fashion show featuring clothes for day, evening and cocktail.
Two days after the premiere of the documentary, she will open a new salon on Madison Avenue in New York.
Rogers plans to screen the documentary during the salon’s opening, from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.
“He is deeply missed and I am proud to have been able to participate in this documentary,” Rogers said.
The film will air at 8 tonight on HBO.
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