Her mother, thirty years younger than her husband, left him and returned to Paris. Robertina and her father moved to Milan, where she was known as his daughter. She became a model for the avant-garde artist, Enrico Baj (1924- 2003). At age 20 she had genital surgery at a private clinic in England.
Following the family tradition, she qualified as a doctor, as did her brothers, and did an internship under the supervision of a friend of her father. However it did not work, even though she was Dottoressa Manganaro. Her proclivity for dressing in high fashion with high heels and jewels did not help.
Gianfranco encouraged Robertina to become a stilista. At age 35 she opened a studio in Paris, using her title Comtessa. At age 42 had her first show at the Milan
*Not Roberta Manganaro the dancer.
- Silvana Mazzocchi. "La favola bella di Robertina nata maschio, donna per scelta". La Repubblica, 2000.07.13. http://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2000/07/13/la-favola-bella-di-robertina-nata-maschio.html.
- Giampietro Baudo. "La pseudo-couture di Robertina Manganaro". MFfashion, 21 Luglio 2000. www.mffashion.com/it/archivio/2000/07/21/la-pseudo-couture-di-robertina-manganaro.
- Walter de Gregorio. "Der raffinierte Schnitt: Die Transsexuelle Robertina Manganaro präsentierte ihre erste Pret-a-porterKollektion – mit Erfolg". Sonntags Zeitung, 8. Oktober 2000. www.transpersona.ch/files/2000_10_08_sonntagszeitung_robertina_manganaro_text.pdf.