An exclusive interview with Franca Sozzani

Fashion / Design / Photography / Performance Un’intervista esclusiva con Franca Sozzani di Federico Poletti
 

Pitti Immagine is confirmed as a real hub for the new generations of talent. Pitti Immagine develops various initiatives in support of the younger generations: from the New Beats section in Fortezza da Basso to the Who is On Next? Uomo and Pitti Italics, the programme through which the Pitti Discovery Foundation promotes and supports the new wave of fashion designers and trademarks designing and producing in Italy, but with an international business that is sharply on the rise. We spoke of it with Franca Sozzani, Director of Vogue Italia, who for years has been using Vogue Talents to support various initiatives for newcomers.

 
For Who is on Next? Uomo, can we talk about a community?
Yes, absolutely. What counts is not only the winner, but we must stress that finalists too manage to enter a professional network with consulting. Some of the designers discovered by Who is On Next? Uomo have today become international names with economic stability.
 
London is growing both as the creativity capital and an international market. How can Italy protect and encourage its talents?
London is extraordinary in communication and public relations; it spends and invests a great deal to enjoy growing visibility. It has shown a stimulating creativity, particularly in women's collections. London has run the risk of investing in the younger generations. It is impossible to compare it with the value of Milan or Florence. Before them and after us comes Paris. In Italy, we have creativity and quality. Here, we create, invent and produce on the strength of culture, tradition, craftsmanship and inventiveness. And communicating is important. And we may not be top of the world in communicating, which is certainly a shame. The substance, however, remains.
 
Pitti is developing the Italics platform, a group of Italian and foreign talent producing in Italy, such as Aquazzura, Stella Jean and MSGM. In Italy, can we speak of a new wave of talents as is occurring with the phenomenon of the English?
Italy is a country filled with tradition, where production is with extremely high quality and a great many international designers come to Italy precisely for this reason. At the same time, a new community of young designers is growing, both in women's and men's fashion, but whilst the English newspapers and journals make room for talents even with collections numbering just 5 pieces, our young minds do not enjoy the same support of national press. In addition to the Who is On Next? competition, the space devoted by Florence over the last few days to the new, young talent is also important. Such as the show of Stella Jean - winner of Who is On Next? Donna two years ago - for her début with her first ever men's collection. 
 
This edition of Who is On Next? Uomo has seen two brands of accessories take a joint first place: hats and shoes. Your impressions on this choice
Accessories should not longer really be called such, but rather "protagonists" just like the clothes themselves. Indeed, very often it is the accessories that prove to be the strength of a collection. Great turnover is achieved through shoes, bags, glasses and hats.
On many occasions, it is the main item, for both men and women, and from which we start off in determining the rest of our look for the day. In the creations of the young designers who took part in the competition, accessories are increasingly important, whilst once upon a time (7 years ago), collections were 80% clothing and 20% accessories. Today, the new generations have allowed the accessory to grow; we can see this as a real change in custom.
 
So what characteristics should a young talent in men's fashion have?
Talent in both men's and women's collections is always the same; talent is connected with the capacity to be creative and truly different from what we see around the world. There are no specific characteristics, everyone needs to be free to follow their creativity. This is essential. 
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