ROME — During a press conference here, Carlo Calenda, the Italian minister for economic development, said that the Italian government has allocated 2 million euros, or $2.7 million at current exchange, to support Firenze Hometown of Fashion, a program of events to be held in the Tuscan city in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Florentine center for Italian fashion.
Firenze Hometown of Fashion will coincide with the upcoming edition of international men’s wear trade show Pitti Uomo, running June 17 to 20. It was organized by the Florence Center for Italian Fashion (CFMI) and Pitti Immagine, which invested a total of 800,000 euros, or $1.1 million at current exchange, in collaboration with the Italian trade agency and government.
“For us, Firenze Hometown of Fashion is the single most important initiative we will be developing this year in terms of investment,” said Calenda. “This is an initiative conceived as a laboratory putting Made in Italy in the limelight — which is exactly what international markets want.”
Calenda also said that if the project is successful, next year the government will support another 15 high-end Italian fairs in their promotion of Italian companies abroad. “A few months ago we met many department stores and independent retailers in the U.S., and we asked them for suggestions on how to increase our companies’ penetration of the American market. They all said, ‘Bring more people to Italy’. That’s because Italy is the only country which has succeeded in keeping together manufacturers and brands, and more journalists and buyers have to see with their own eyes how our products are made,” he said.
He noted that Firenze Hometown of Fashion demonstrates that government and private institutions can successfully work together to reach important goals for the country, and that competition from London, which in the last few seasons moved its dates to overlap with Pitti, has pushed Florence to find new ways to catch the fashion industry’s attention.
Pitti Immagine president Gaetano Marzotto added that the collaboration between Pitti and the Italian Chamber of Fashion helped convince Paris and London to consider moving their dates starting from next January.
Firenze Hometown of Fashion’s celebrations will start on June 16, when Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will offer a live performance at the renovated Opera di Firenze, which is also hosting an exhibition of eight dresses by costumer Sartoria Tirelli, which during its 50 years of activity won 15 Academy Awards. The same night, Bocelli will also officially turn on the new lights of the Ponte Vecchio, which were donated to the city by Stefano Ricci, fashion entrepreneur and president of the Florence Center for Italian Fashion.
As part of “Born in Florence,” a program dedicated to four Florentine companies, on June 17 Gucci’s museum in Piazza della Signoria will be open to the public, and will project lighting effects on its facade. On this occasion, Gucci, which acquired Richard Ginori last year, will also celebrate the opening of the luxury tableware and ceramics firm’s store on Via Rondinelli.
That same day, Emilio Pucci will host an event, still to be determined, while the next day Salvatore Ferragamo will inaugurate the “Equilibrium” exhibition at its Florentine museum and Ermanno Scervino will throw a cocktail party and dinner at the Forte Belvedere, focused on the designer’s iconic white color.
Initially slated to take part in the “Born in Florence” project, Roberto Cavalli backed out this week. “Last night, Roberto told us that he cannot take part in this because he is currently too busy with other projects, but he promised that he will hold a special event in Florence next January or June,” said Pitti Immagine chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone.
The aforementioned companies, including Cavalli, will be celebrated through “Florence and Fashion,” a photo exhibition organized by Vogue Italia collecting a number of pictures shot by international photographers for the Italian magazine.
Showing that art plays a pivotal role in the Firenze Hometown of Fashion program, on June 17, Italian contemporary artist Francesco Vezzoli will unveil “Vezzoli Spring-Summer,” an exhibition organized in three different Florentine niche museums. In particular, Vezzoli will integrate 30 of his works into the permanent collections of the Museo Bardini, Casa Martelli and Museo Bellini.