MILAN — The house of Valentino and Italy’s Camera della Moda have partnered on a project that each season will allow a young guest designer to present his or her fashion collection on the Rome-based company’s Instagram platform.
Marco Rambaldi is the first designer chosen for the initiative, which will kick off next February during Milan Women’s Fashion Week.
“Being part of the fashion system is much more than a statement, I feel that that belonging to associations as FHCM [Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode] and CNMI [Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana] gives Valentino and all members the possibility to build new opportunities and strategies for our industry,” said Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli.
While Valentino has historically presented its collections in Paris, due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the brand in September 2020 and in March 2021 staged its ready-to-wear shows in Milan, which led Piccioli to feel “how alive and pulsing this city is and how much it has to offer in terms of creativity and new ideas.”
Piccioli said that, “with all of that in mind,” together with Valentino’s chief executive officer Jacopo Venturini, his team and the Camera della Moda, it was decided to select one designer per season and to offer them the opportunity to use Valentino’s social platform “as a stage to broaden their work and message. We decided to approach designers whose sensitivity resonates with our core identity values. Marco Rambaldi’s show in Via Lecco was such a graceful and powerful celebration of humanity and a kaleidoscopic vision of beauty. That’s why we decided to start this new project with his collection and I am sure that this will be the beginning of something that will give new energies and inspiration to all of us.”
Rambaldi, born in 1990, has through his collections embraced inclusive castings — a stance that mirrors Piccioli’s own vision. Piccioli gave a shout-out to the young designer’s “authentic and tenacious attempt to break down stereotypes.”
Carlo Capasa, chairman of the Camera della Moda, underscored that “the promotion and support of emerging talents have always been pillars of our association, which in recent years has created and implemented projects with a view to [emphasize and give value] to the creativity and vision that new designers bring to the fashion system.”
Capasa also said this initiative confirmed “the centrality” of Milan Fashion Week internationally, characterizing the city as “energetic and vibrant,” and saying that it “embodies the necessary elements for the coexistence of great brands and new talents that make the city a multifaceted hub that exemplifies the combination of creativity and know-how.”
Piccioli and Valentino’s support of an independent brand, said Rambaldi, is “emblematic of their ability to listen to the present moment, of farsightedness, but above all of great love for fashion. I believe that with this collaboration Valentino affirms the desire not only to continue to write its own history, but to spread and nurture all Italian fashion in the decades to come.”
Working with an emerging brand, continued Rambaldi, “breaks the boundaries, steps outside the box, regenerates connections. Thanks to this kind of attitude and to the incessant work of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, there remains the possibility to research and cultivate diverse talents. I think there’s a real need for that and I’m deeply grateful for it.”
The Marco Rambaldi brand was launched in Bologna, Italy, in 2017, marked from the start by inclusion, gender-bending styles and upcycling. For example, for spring 2020, ’70s crochet dresses were made from fabric patches sourced from flea markets and Rambaldi’s grandmother’s personal collection.
The label offers a total look, with a focus on knitwear and outerwear, and is carried by the likes of Farfetch, Ssense, 10 Corso Como and Biffi, among others.
This kind of initiative is undoubtedly likely to help promote the visibility of a new generation of designers. Similarly, Giorgio Armani in 2013 started opening his Milan theater in Via Bergognone as a show stage for a number of young talents — a project that lasted for several seasons.