The success of Made in Italy in the world is due to the long tradition of craftsmanship, and despite the country’s economic situation, the Made in Italy label is still highly sought after in the rest of the world.
As Sicilian designer Fausto Puglisi tells BBC Culture: “Italian craftsmanship is absolutely unparalleled. And in Italy it’s something that is extremely connected to society – people don’t just do it for the money, they do it because they love it”
Conservatism and conformism are the two main criticisms of contemporary Italian fashion. Milan is rumored to be less influential than it was in previous years, and this criticism is partly attributed to the typically “family” business method.
Some great labels have remained in the same family for decades, dominating the textile sector with the result – some commentators say – of entering a phase of stagnation.
Surely the stagnation of Fast Fashion is better, but do these “family” businesses make life more difficult for emerging designers and creativity?
“The history of Italian fashion was built by great fashion families and we must pay tribute to it”, says Fausto Puglisi. “And it’s true that the situation up to now has been pretty quiet, but at the same time I think you have to work hard and really believe in yourself, stay focused on your vision, that’s the only way to break through”. But times are changing, for Fausto Puglisi fashion is innovation, which means “going out and discovering new things”.
Is creativity coming back into fashion? Does textile innovation exists in our country? Young designers at the helm of major brands such as Gucci and Valentino, scholarships for young people offered by Ermenigeldo Zegna and Giorgio Armani, free use of the catwalks to emerging designers such as the acclaimed Stella Jean.
Italian Fashion and Sustainability
Creativity and innovation should go hand in hand with environmental sustainability, ethics, respect for human rights, and safeguarding the animal world. This is the only way forward for Italian fashion, and clearly for the entire textile sector.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case, despite the great strides made by many Italian fashion houses, such as those who have joined the Greenpeace Detox My Fashion campaign, our country is still behind when it comes to sustainability, compared to other European countries.
We are talking about sustainable fashion, the use of ecological fabrics and the application of textile certifications, which can guarantee production with low environmental impact, ethical from a human point of view and without the exploitation of animals.
We are pleased to note the increase in interest in ecological materials on the part of small Italian artisans, who really need to innovate, to create something new, unique.
Environmental pollution caused by the textile industry is at an all-time high and continues to grow from year to year. The abandonment of synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon would be a small but important step forward in support of our planet.
But something more is needed, a collective culture, and that’s what we’re talking about in this blog.