L'Italo-Americano

italoamericano-digital-2-6-2020

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2020 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 D o you remember Richard Gere inspecting his drawers and war- drobe in Ameri- can Gigolo? Smooth, unstruc- tured pants on, he picks four suit jackets, while humming Beautiful and Love (not at all accidental, if you think about Italian fashion). He lies them on his bed. Then, butter-soft shirts fall onto the jackets. Ethereal, non-aggressive sha- des. The camera follows him while he chooses his ties, all in relaxing, sophisticated nuances. He tightens his belt, ties his shoes and his tie, sta- res satisfied at what he sees in the mirror and, before answe- ring the phone, he wraps himself in a jacket as if it were an embrace. The costume designer for this 1980 movie, where Richard Gere walked around as if on the runway — jacket casually resting on the shoulder, sunglasses on and shirt sleeves rolled up — was Giorgio Armani. In those 2 minutes and 40 seconds spent in front of the wardrobe, Gere dresses himself with sensuality, charm and arrogant beauty and creates a myth the movie was to bring all around the world, cementing in our collective imagination a new way of wearing clothes. Cinema was to praise the Piacenza fashion designer — who today is 85 — more than once and, at the same time, made Italian style known also off the catwalk and outside of specialized circles made of fashion professionals and "fashion addicts." Basically, cinema turned Giorgio Armani into a household name. The Armani brand had been created only 5 years prior, but Hollywood had already noticed it. In 1978, Diane Keaton received her Oscar for Annie Hall wearing an Armani jacket: a groundbreaking model, inspired by man couture but unstructured, practical yet refined, soon to become a true uniform for all 1980s businesswomen. In 1983, the Council of Fashion Designers of America gave him the Designer of the Year Award. And last year, he received the British Fashion Council Award for his career, a validation of his ongoing international success. Forty years after what Americans christened "the American Gigolo Giorgio Armani, the Hollywood icon of Italian fashion From the director suit," a unique, comfortable, incredibly elegant outfit, the "Armani style" remains an ideal of Italian fashion in the world and an incredible business. Armani's wealth has been recently valued by Forbes at over 11 billion USD, which makes him the third richest man inn Italy. Our national fashion industry generates about 70 billion euro (around 77 bil- lion USD) and it's growing. It represents an incredibly important busi- ness and economic potential for the country, especially because it is true driving force of our Made in Italy and fears no crisis. Fashion is a reference sector for Italian exports and for Italian pro- ducts' positioning around the world, where it is essential to reinforce the system, enhance positive trends and further confirm Italian brands. Italian fashion's main buyers abroad are Europe (Germany, France and the UK above all) and the US, but China, Japan and South Korea have been growing exponentially, especially when it comes to shoes, bags and clothing. And even within Italy, the whole sistema moda is no joke: it counts about 82,000 businesses, 25% of them in the leather goods industry, 56% in the clothing industry and 29% in textiles. By employing more than 500,000 people, the fashion industry is the second manufacturing sector in the country, after metalworking. The textile sector, which is one of the country's economic pillars, makes more than 78 billion euro (86 billion USD) and produced more than 51 billion euro (56 billion USD) through international commerce in 2018, an 8% increase since the previous year. The main Italian exporters are Milan, Florence — where, in 1951, the first international fashion show was organized and that today, every January, turns into the world's capital of fashion with Pitti Uomo — and Vicenza, the heart of Italy's leather goods manufacturing. Milan, the ultimate capital of Italian fashion, generates alone 5.2 billion euro reve- nue (5.7 billion USD), 1/7 of the national total, and is in constant growth. Other important production centers like Treviso, Prato, Reggio Emilia, Bologna, Biella, Como, Piacenza, Pisa e Bergamo. And let's not forget about Italy's most notorious glamour spots, that tempt consumers and strengthen sales. So, beside the quadrilatero della moda in Milan (Via Montenapoleone, via Manzoni, via Sant'Andrea, via della Spiga), we cannot forget Rome's Via del Corso, Piazza di Spagna and Via Condotti. And what about the many high end boutiques that opened in the trendiest seaside locations in the country, like Portofino, Forte dei Marmi, Positano, Capri, Taormina, Porto Cervo, or in our most glamo- rous mountain resorts, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Courmayeur, Cervinia, Madonna di Campiglio? There's a whole mythology related to Italian fashion, a sector that, little by little, has become the very symbol of our country's style and elegance, and one of its greatest tourist attractions along with arts, food and lifestyle. Italian fashion houses created a real multinational of luxury and are, today, Made in Italy's highest ranking symbols: Armani and Gucci, Biagiotti and Versace, Cavalli, Dolce&Gabbana and Ferré, Tod's and Trussardi, Missoni, Moschino, Rocco Barocco, Sergio Rossi and so many others. Say Prada or say Valentino, it means always the same thing: Italy. Armani has always been a global cultural and social phenomenon, since his very first collection in 1964. The revolution he introduced in the wardrobes of both women and men made of him more than a sim- ple protagonist of Italian design and fashion: it made him, since the 1980s, a colossus of the industry, an immense contributor to the suc- cess of Made in Italy around the world, and one of the people who tran- sformed Milan in an international capital of fashion. In 2000, the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum in New York dedica- ted to him an exhibition to celebrate his first 25 years in the industry, and it wasn't by chance: black, grey, red, blue and 500 items of clothing that changed the history of fashion, style and cinema, the latter, without a doubt, decisive in Armani's rise to international stardom. For those among you who don't know it, Armani created the wardrobe of more than 200 movies. From Kevin Costner's three piece suit in The Untouchables (which, with its clean lines and muted tones wanted to mark visually the character's moral superiority to De Niro's), to the impeccable trench coats — complete with aviator sunglasses — in Duplicity by Tony Gilroy, where every detail is a homage to Hollywood's golden age. From the padded shoulders, double breasted- and-lapels jackets and silk ties in Nolan's The Dark Knight, to DiCaprio's 1990s power suits in The Wolf of Wall Street, all the way to Brad Pitt's ivory tuxedos with peaked lapels in Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards. A long time ago, in 1982, King Giorgio made it to the Time magazi- ne cover for a reason that still stands true today: "Clothes are the fabric of history and the texture of time. And this time right now belongs to Giorgio Armani." Simone Schiavinato, Director NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italiana all'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 Please send correspondence to P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which represents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale DIRECTOR/EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Giudici SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Catherine Accardi Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Joel Mack, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, GenerosoD'Agnese, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Alfonso Guerriero Jr., Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003

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