From Barilla to Benetton, Martini to Missoni, a brand ‘Made in Italy’ makes it immediately desirable. Whether it be wine, bags, mopeds. Maintaining the Italian designs and craftsmanship in today’s market of globalisation, is one major multi tasking mission.
Made in Italy and the 80’s
Made In Italy bloomed with the 80’s boom. In the mid-80s, many companies began operating in Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna, with the branding ‘made in Italy’. Designers became celebrities in their own right and Armani made Bloomberg’s ranking of the world’s richest people, as the the fifth Italian wealthiest man.
A continuation of that boom is still seen in Milan and all over the world. The aggressive billboard marketing campaigns of the 80’s provided the perfect business structure for high end brands to extend their lines to the masses, and that mode remains today, as it set the precedent for marketing.
The 80’s enthusiasm for business, dictated tailored designs. The new role of women ‘as manager’ and power dressing meant that designers like Missoni, were able to deconstruct the jacket and make wearable day wear women’s business suits. Missoni, along with Versace, were the futuristic designers of the day.
Italian designers like Armani made fashion more accessible. Fashion was no longer class based. Designers began to brand jeans and bottles of perfume, blurring the margins between fashion and class. What was once a class divider, became accessible to the masses. Socialism and fashion made a deal. By wearing a pair of Armani Jeans, a Trussadi wallet, or a Dolce and Gabanna lipstick, you can buy into the Made in Italy lifestyle.
The 80’s were experimental, industrial and modern, because Italian designers created the phenomenon of fashion as a cultural phenomenon. Max Mara was the first Italian designer to open a shop with their name above the door.
Where did Made in Italy begin?
Made in Italy developed thanks to the emergence of a new entrepreneurial class, post war. The flourishing of stylists and designers. Elizabeth Taylor, draped in Bulgari diamonds.
Well-tailored Italian suits. Decadence. Decorum. Elegance. Florence became the new Paris, and Alta Moda was in the fast lane beside Haute Couture.
In a way, Made In Italy was nothing new. Italians have mastered culture, arts and manufacturing for thousands of years. Companies in Italy today, are based on an artistic history and ancient craft that has its roots in the Renaissance workshops, beautiful museums and a widespread aesthetic culture.
Modern Made In Italy
From Pret a Porter to Net a Porter
Missoni designed accessories for Target, which sold out within three hours.
With Alessi magnets, at 4 euros, brands recognise that we want Made in Italy, but a bitesized version, designed to match a different market.
Versace for H&M
Domestic design is still wanting the spirit of ‘bellezza’. It would be accurate to say that Italian fashion changed everyday objects. Which means you can have your cake and eat it, with a tazza of Italian espresso.
”No other country has the fusion between style and fashion”. Beppe Modenese
Published in Italy Magazine April 2015
To read at Italy Magazine: http://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/made-italy-80s