For those regularly attending runway shows in Milan, Fabio Covizzi is the guardian angel of the fashion world. Since the late Eighties, he has been managing the security operations at runway shows and events with the manners of a gentleman and the authority of Virtus. Here, Covizzi, who is also a nightlife entrepreneur and an artist in addition to an impeccable dresser drawn to tailored coats, discusses the early stages of his career and the right strategy for running a smooth event.
This story first appeared in the January 11, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
How did you get started in the security field?
It started by chance more than 30 years ago when I was managing some bars in Milan, which were very successful and where it was common to meet designers and creative people. Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce were among my clients and for their first show they asked me and my brother Fausto to take care of the “at-the-door” operations. Then I started working with Fabrizio Ferri, who at that time was designing a fashion line called Industria. For him, I used to do fittings and sales campaigns.
Then other clients started asking me to take care of the security at their shows and events.
It seems like there is more pressure in the fashion business, with more people attending shows and events. Have your clients’ requests changed?
When I started, security was focused on the checking of the invites and guest lists. Then over the years — and especially in the last few seasons — the job evolved and we have to start working on each show days ahead, checking in-depth every location. In particular, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, we don’t let in people we have never seen before who have an invite but don’t show an ID.
What are the most delicate and complicated situations you have to face?
The most complicated situations are at events and parties where there are many people and free drinks…it’s pretty common that we have to intervene, but we always have to be discreet.
What events and shows have you liked the most and found the most fulfilling?
In terms of fashion events, I can say some parties thrown by Dolce & Gabbana and Philipp Plein because of the guests involved. I also really liked the opening of the Fondazione Prada last year and Christo’s “The Floating Piers,” a huge and important artistic project, as well as Gucci’s shows in New York and at London’s Westminster Abbey. What really makes me happy with my job is the direct contact with designers and artists.
Along with your main job, you’re also an entrepreneur and an artist. How did you develop these other activities?
When I arrived in Milan 35 years ago from Sermide, Italy, I was working in clubs to pay for my studies. Then I started opening some places — I’m one of the owners of the Blanco bar in Piazzale Lavater. In 2008, during a trip to Bali, I fell in love with these teakwood boards that came from old temples. Now I have a laboratory-cum-showroom in Milan, called Cambio, where I draw furniture pieces and I design the interiors of bars and private flats. I hate to get bored and do one thing at a time.