Wed, 2 October 2013
Gucci Gucci Louis Louis Fendi Fendi Prada… what happens when a hundred artisans’ shops become a few global megacompanies? We went to Milan, Italy, to talk to small-scale makers who work in the shadow of fashion conglomerates like Prada. It’s one of our most ambitious episodes and the grand finale of our season.
Take Antonio Pio Mele, a cobbler who makes shoes by hand in a small shop in central Milan. He’s grateful that huge brands occasionally hire him to make samples, but he’s angry they rarely pay him on time and that their “bespoke” operations are rarely genuinely bespoke. Scholar Alex Pietrogiacomi provides some philosophical context, and photographer Simone Falcetta explains how consolidation has changed the fashion world.
We also talk to Milanese dandy Pino Pipoli, Dave Hill offers a rudiment about black suits, and the beautiful Valentina Galbiati gives us a guided tour of Milan’s most influential and beautiful boutique, 10 Corso Como.