Italian fashion designer Elio Fiorucci has passed away aged 80.

Elio Fiorucci

Elio Fiorucci

The Fiorruci owner - most famous for pioneering stretch jeans - was found at his home in Milan yesterday morning (20.07.15), and is believed to have succumbed to a sudden illness, according to Italian news agency Ansa.

Elio started his Milan-based fashion label in 1967, churning out pieces initially inspired by 60s mod fashion in London, but then got the idea for the stretch jeans after a trip to Ibiza, where he noticed the way wet jeans fit a woman's body and wanted to re-create the effect to show off women's curves.

Once the 70s hit, his designs spread globally and he opened a store in New York City on 59th Street, where the likes of Andy Warhol, Liz Taylor and Cher came to shop for denim pieces at affordable prices and the iconic T-shirts printed with the brand's signature angels, according to The Cut.

Elio's shop, which later moved downtown, eventually transformed into a place for him to sponsor and inspire new artists, including DJ and design duo Andrew Andrew, who used the shop to launch their careers.

In 1990, Elio sold his company to Japanese group Edwin International. In 2003, he closed his main store in Milan -- which at its peak was said to have sales of more than $15 million a year -- and launched the Love Therapy label.