NEXTGEN: At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at Palazzo Morando — an exhibition and museum space in the heart of the city’s golden quadrilateral of luxury — Franca Sozzani detailed the new initiatives of Vogue Italia and Condé Nast to support Milan Fashion Week, which opens Tuesday night in the fifth edition of Vogue Fashion’s Night Out.
As the magazine’s editor in chief, Sozzani’s mission is to revitalize the fledgling Italian fashion industry, namely by reasserting Milan’s presence as a leading capital of European fashion. The confident push follows optimistic reports by the Camera Nazionale della Moda that predicted domestic fashion business upticks in 2014, points which were supported by Cristina Tajani, Italian councilor for jobs, economic development, universities and research.
Under the umbrella of “Empowering New Talents,” Sozzani aims to raise the profile of Italian brands, strengthen the Made in Italy ethic and reaffirm Milan as the epicenter of Italian fashion.
The formula taps the energy of emerging, native and international talent. “The key to this year’s edition is through projects that discuss and elevate Italian valor and highlight sustainably — without the younger generations, it’s impossible to create a future,” Sozzani said, adding that the worldwide brand recognition and consistency of Condé Nast grants greater visibility.
Sozzani underlined “Who Is On Next” and “Vogue Talents” as the most important initiatives, the latter of which celebrates international, emerging design and accessory talents. Organized by Altaroma and Vogue Italia to scout new talent, “Who Is On Next” kicked off Tuesday night at Palazzo Morando and runs until Sept. 22. Every evening, former winners (such as the 2011-edition winner Stella Jean, who will show her collection at Spazio Armani on Sept. 21) will host lectures for students. A “Hat-ology” exhibition, curated by milliner Stephen Jones and dedicated to Anna Piaggi, opens on Sept. 21.
Other new initiatives include a private Teatro alla Scala concert with Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo on Sept. 18, supported by the city’s mayor, Giuliano Pisapia. Vogue Italia teams with Italian lottery agency, Sisal, in “Vogue’s Game Powered By Win For Life,” a quiz with over 1,000 questions from Vogue’s Fashion Encyclopedia that runs through October 1. Details are on Vogue Italia’s Facebook page.
A scholarship program, “Empower Talents,” organized by Kering chairman and chief executive François-Henri Pinault and Sozzani, will award 23 internships to young talent across august brands in Italy, Switzerland and France in the fields of design, merchandising, product development and digital marketing.
Other initiatives include “The Italian Fashion Schools,” a clearinghouse of young Italian talent in collaboration with Pitti Immagine and Milan-based universities such as The Academy of Fine Arts of Brera; an exhibition organized by Vogue Italia and P&G Prestige, “Beauty in Wonderland,” which opens on Sept. 20; the International Woolmark Prize to award 2014 finalists for wool-based designs; and a Sept. 22 runway show to debut the new collection of Meissen Couture & Accessories at its Villa Meissen headquarters on Via Montenapoleone.