Last Saturday, fashion editor Vanessa Friedman wrote a beautiful piece for the Financial Times on how the British feel proud of the designers who have lately come to the fore in fashion's international circuit. She points out that it's been years since so much buzz has been heard about the talent of British designers that are being chosen as creative directors at big fashion houses. And she is right.
Christopher Kane, J.W. Anderson, Erdem Moralioglu, Mary Katranzou, Thomas Tait. Without forgetting Phoebe Philo, Hussein Chalayan, Sarah Burton, Christopher Bailey, Stella McCartney and Clare Wraight Keller. The new Brit Band is in any case holding key positions. The good thing is, not only they have talent but they are supported by important personalities who understand the value of fashion, like Samantha Cameron, the wife of Peter, and the cuchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
And what about our own pride? Why we never "want" to support our young talents? Probably the only field that is still giving good results is fashion (with exceptions also here... ) yet it seems we are doing our best to neglect our talents and sunk the only ship that is still afloat. We do not have a first lady and not even a duchess, but it doesn't matter. We have great designers and brands well-known all over the world. We have excellent fashion schools that have been attended by names such as Frida Giannini, and we also have great entrepreneurs and managers. All big names in fashion all over the world purchase our textiles and most of them produce their clothing in Italy. The most coveted fashion events for menswear are held in Milan and Florence. The scouting for young fashion talents in the world -- with selections carried out in 200 fashion schools -- was started in Trieste by ITS. Many of the designers awarded in the world today are the winners of past editions of WHO IS ON NEXT?, the contest promoted by AltaRoma. We do have Italian designers who are appreciated and respected and do successful runway shows in Paris: Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, Giambattista Valli, Valentino, designed by Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Yet it seems all this is not enough to make us feel proud. We do also have a young Italian brand that is constantly penalized by shows' schedules that have very few people willing to produce them or companies choosing their lines. However, some people believe in the young and invest in them. Luckily.
In any case, the Brits have precedence. This article by Friedman will not be an example for us on how we have to push our designers, but it will surely be quoted in other articles in other magazines underlining that the British are talented. It's not that I don't agree with that, on the contrary, but we have all it takes to be great.
We don't know how to sell ourselves well like the French do, but we sell them products. We choose students from British schools, but then our young fashion designers are obliged to do fashion shows at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m., when nobody is attending. We should stop feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to react, all of us, and take action. We keep complaining, while the others keep on going their way. We say no to our Prime Minister Monti and to his taxes, but why? Harsh solutions are needed in times of crisis. Or do we want to end up like Greece?
No support to the young, because they cost too much, and have no experience. But how can they possibly gain experience if they are not given a chance to start? No support to fashion, as it is superfluous. And what about all the people who work in fashion? All together, each in one's own sector, we must take action and raise our voices. Humbleness doesn't always pay off, and I say it reluctantly. We are proud of what we do and we have to say it. "Nemo propheta in Patria," I've said it before. Well, enough with that. The time has come to show our true value. Because, despite all that is done to damage our country, Italy's value is great!