Fashion Week: Jazzing up Italian Fashion Streets in Milan
The Italian city of Milan is accredited internationally as one of the world’s most important fashion capitals, along with Paris, New York and London as well as being the main sartorial hub in the country, jointly with Rome and Florence.
The creed for all Italian design houses is a search for excellence and beauty, stressing details and giving priority to quality. Italian fashion has always distinguished itself for laying emphasis on style and on the importance of looking good within trends. They have survived in the cut-throat world of la moda purely refusing to make a fast buck and by assuring long-term and well-planned growth strategies rather than short-sighted and high on return ones.
This has led to the spreading of the Italian Fashion Houses all over the world. From Hong Kong and Tokyo to Brasilia and New York owning their own towering, stylish, flagship outlets not only in Milan and Paris, but also in Asia, South America, United States and Europe. They set trends. Names like Prada, Gucci and Armani are household names across the continents, well-respected for their excellence and innnovation.
Each of them, from the largest to the latest, has a fascinating story of passion, of growth and an unstoppable determination to establish its own concept of moda in Italy and worldwide.
Milan has established a long history within fashion, textiles and couture design. Throughout the 20th century, the city expanded its role as a significant centre, with a number of rising designers contributing to Milan’s image as a stylistic capital. In the 1970s and 1980s, Milan emerged as one of the world’s outstanding trendsetters, maintaining this supremacy well into the 1990s and 2000s and culminating with its entrenchment as one of the “big four” global fashion capitals. As of today, Milan is especially renowned for its role within the prêt-à-porter.
The city’s most important shopping streets and districts include Piazza del Duomo and the Quadrilatero della Moda (including Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Corso Venezia and Via Manzoni). The latter is one of the leading shopping districts in the world. Via Monte Napoleone has been ranked as the sixth most expensive shopping street in the world. Streets in this district contain exclusive couture boutiques.
With a dedicated menswear week event as well as womenswear, Milan Fashion Week (MFW) presents a massive program of runway shows, after parties and off-calendar events four times a year. With the aim of promoting Italy’s talent to the world, MFW presents both the spring/summer and autumn (fall) /winter collections each year.
On February 24th, in concomitance with the Women’s Fashion Week, there will be in Milan the opening ceremony of a street art exhibition where twenty-four artistic chiseled and hand painted manhole covers, designed by the major Italian Stylists, will jazz up the shopping streets of the famous fashion district, from via Montenapoleone to via Sant’Andrea.
Two young emerging Italian talents, Santi and Alessandro Garofolo, will flank famous Italian designers as 10 Corso Como, Giorgio Armani, Laura Biagiotti, Just Cavalli, Costume National, Brunello Cucinelli, DSquared2, Etro, Salvatore Ferragamo, Alberta Ferretti, Hogan, Iceberg, Larusmiani, Missoni, Moschino, Prada, Emilio Pucci, Trussardi, Valentino, Versace, Giuseppe Zanotti Design, Ermenegildo Zegna.
The cast-iron plaques have been realized by specialized craftsmen. The plaques vary in style and color tones. They have been placed recently on the sidewalks in front of each fashion boutique that has helped to create the artwork.
You may visit the open-air exhibition “Above the Below – Manholes Art Tell the Wired City” from February 2015 until January 2016, an event promoted and organized by Metroweb (the largest fiberoptics underground network company in Europe), in collaboration with the National Chamber of Italian Fashion and in partnership with Oxfam Italy.
This cultural initiative, now at its third edition, celebrates the international importance of Milan and its excellences with particular attention to the interaction between urban art, fashion and technological innovation by decorating the famous streets of the Quadrilatero della Moda with twenty-four 50 per 50 centimetres artistic manhole covers.
The open-air exhibition has already aroused amazement, surprise and fascination amongst the pedestrians and tourists whom walk through the fashion streets. They are experiencing a new language of art and communication in the city. Media welcomed this street art event with unanimous enthusiasm also due to the unusual and noble charity purposes behind it.
Indeed, at the end of the exhibition, the 24 artistic manholes covers, after an accurate restauration, will be auctioned at Christie’s and the proceeds will be donated to charity by Metroweb in favor of the nonprofit organization Oxfam Italy.
The donation will contribute the implementation of activities which aim to improve socio-economic conditions for about 20,000 people with a special attention to women of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Ecuador, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Morocco, Cambodia and Italy favoring the access to primary resources (land, water, tools, knowledge and skills through training), focusing on the creation of new jobs and supporting or strengthening micro-entrepreneurial activities and cooperatives mainly in agribusiness.
The close synergy between Oxfam and Metroweb intendes to actively and significantly contribute to the Expo 2015 World Fair theme Feeding the Planet, Energy of Life by promoting sevral initiatives in order to raise awareness amongst the Expo visitors.
Enjoy some previews of the spectacular artistic manhole plaques now displaying in the open-air exhibition “Above the Below – Manholes Art Tell the Wired City” dispayed for the next Fashion Week in Milan, Italy.
Event: Sopra il Sotto – Tombini Art raccontano la Città Cablata
Where: Via Monte Napoleone and Via Sant’Andrea, Milan, Italy
When: February 24, 2015 – January 2016 (always visible day & night)
Opening Ceremony: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 18:30, on the road