This article was kindly forwarded to the FIBER journal by Eleonora Mengotti of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana.
della Moda Italiana
della Moda Italiana
Excellence in style is the quintessence of a nation’s history; it is not something created on a daily basis and it must be more than the sum total of a business strategy. Italian manufactory — Made in Italy — is a tradition that encompasses talent, customs in taste, an ethos of elegance, master handcraftsmanship, innovative know-how, and attention to detail, as well as creativity and technical aptitude. Throughout the world, when speaking of clothing, Italian fashion is considered “beautiful and well made.” Herein lies the aforementioned excellence. It involves an ages-long practice of skilled crafting that blends aesthetic and immaterial elements with quality innovation in technology and materials. The Italian Fashion Chamber (Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, CNMI) reflects this culture and tradition, both in Italy and abroad.
Over the past 50 years, Italy has developed a formidable ability to produce top-quality fashion throughout the entire production chain, from materials to end product, yielding noteworthy quantities. Today there are almost 80,000 companies and 750,000 employees involved in Italian fashion. The integrity of the production chain has played a determinant role in the success of this vast and varied entrepreneurial structure.
Italian fashion and the nation’s business system have embarked upon a new adventure within the complex network that characterizes globalization. Italian fashion boasts its own added value, namely the prestige of ultimate quality, a quality made of entrepreneurial history, ingenuity, and the creativity of Italian designers. Fifty years at center stage have already ensured Italian fashion an excellent future throughout the world.
Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana has been bound to Italian fashion for 50 years, a period of extreme success for the nation’s industry. Italian fashion’s adventure began in Florence in the early 1950s with the first fashion shows featuring the creations of haute couture designers. These were exclusive events reserved for the most famous Italian and international journalists and for buyers of America’s most famous department stores. Giovanni Battista Giorgini, who was responsible for purchasing Italian products for the finest American clients, intuited North America’s interest in Italian style and creativity. In 1953, Italian fashions debuted in the Sala Bianca at Palazzo Pitti, an event that sanctioned and marked Italian fashion’s evolution from an artisanal to an industrial reality. During this period, relationships between tailors and industrial wool and cotton spinners and silk weavers began to develop, giving rise to prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) fashion, which was to become Italy’s triumph. Tailors’ skills became an economic force and a crucial source of wealth for the nation. Milan, Rome, and Florence became the capitals of Italian fashion.
Founded in 1958, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana is a nonprofit association with head offices in Milan, fashion capital of the world. It represents over 200 Italian fashion companies operating in haute couture, prêt-à-porter, quality tailoring, sportswear, furriers, cosmetics, fabrics, accessories, leather goods, shoes, services, and distribution. It coordinates, safeguards, and promotes the identity and excellence of Italian fashion, and it serves as reference point for initiatives aimed at raising awareness, spreading, and valorizing fashion in Italy and abroad.
Italy’s fashion industry is renowned for the prêt-à-porter fashion of its famous designers. When it comes to prêt-à-porter, this is the capital city of the world. In this sector, Milan boasts esteemed trademarks, fashion designers, and companies. Fashion’s “four walls” are the showrooms, the buying offices, press offices, and public relations offices, which, combined, employee thousands and churn out ever-evolving activities and projects. This world relies on the professionalism of a multitude of creative minds â€” designers, photographers, graphic artists, stylists, and directors. Milano Moda Donna and Milano Moda Uomo are annual events featuring an endless amount of fashion shows. In addition to highly acclaimed designers, these happenings attract lively new talents and offerings yearly. Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana is actively involved in this alluring and internationally renowned event, scheduling fashion shows, presentations, and correlated events. It is also responsible for image-making, interacting with institutions, creating stage settings and installations for the Centro Sfilate (Fashion Show Center), serving as press office, and ideating and coordinating special events, meetings, and conferences.
Milano Moda Donna, with two editions annually, is the world’s most popular prêt-à-porter fashion event. September/October is dedicated to the Spring/Summer collections, while February/March features the Autumn/Winter collections. In addition to hosting many fashion shows, Milano Moda Donna serves as a stage setting for a number of presentations hosted by specialized agencies. Each edition of Milano Moda Donna presents over 230 highly refined fashion shows and presentations, attracting approximately 2,500 journalists (Italian and foreign) and over 15,000 buyers. A spellbinding experience, Milano Moda Donna is hosted at the Centro Sfilate, in via Gattamelata in Milan, known for its large halls, characteristic central piazza with a video wall that enables the public to view the fashion shows in real time, showrooms for editors/publishers and sponsors, a fully equipped press room, and comfortable restaurants and snack bars. Image-making and installations are entrusted to the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana.
Milano Moda Uomo is an international event featuring novelties and prêt-à-porter collections for men created by Italian fashion’s most prestigious designers. The January edition presents the Autumn/Winter collections while the June edition introduces the Spring/Summer collections. Hundreds of fashion shows and presentations attract more than 1,000 Italian and foreign journalists in addition to approximately 10,000 buyers. Events scheduled for Milano Moda Uomo take place in various venues around Milan’s city center, in areas specially selected by companies or in showrooms.
Activities Throughout the World
Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana is Italy’s fashion ambassador around the globe. Its international commitments involve building relationships with other institutions, establishing agreements aimed at protecting and valorizing Italian products, and participating in special events organized in capital cities throughout the world. In 2000, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and the Fédération Français de la Couture signed a French-Italian Protocol Agreement. Revised in 2005, this document is particularly important for the fashion industry. Some of the objectives stipulated in the agreement include a shared commitment to spreading haute couture fashion products in international markets, countering imitations and forgeries, cooperating in professional training, monitoring imports from non-European countries, and increasing the industry’s competitiveness within the European Union.
Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana collaborates with the Italian Foreign Trade Institute (Istituto Italiano per il Commercio con l’Estero, ICE), embassies, and other international organizations to arrange foreign events aimed at promoting Italian fashion. Among these, the most honored are international gala evenings that feature fashion shows arranged by some of Italy’s foremost fashion designers. New and exceptional happenings are being organized, but past soirées have already been held in St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Oslo, Bratislava, and Sofia. In 2001, an agreement was signed with the Italian Ministry of Production to act cohesively in endorsing quality production departments represented by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana.