The Genteel
March 7, 2021

Silvia Brambilla

Ladies and gentlemen, glamour is served! There is a growing phenomenon in the fashion business, especially amongst the Italian fashion houses, of selling something intangible: glamorous experiences. But could ambitious brand extension result in market saturation and, inevitably, brand devaluation?

By Silvia Brambilla

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Silvia Brambilla

Milan Italy

Silvia reports for The Genteel from Milan. Silvia started her career at the age of 20 as an assistant to prominent Italian fashion photographers, slowly but surely becoming a fine art photographer herself. She is also a freelance journalist, producer in the fashion industry, yoga teacher and holds a Doctor in Philosophy. Silvia is very active advocate for animal rights and environmental protection. An incurable globetrotter, she dreams to move from the heart of Milan to a coastal town one day with her beloved husband, Javier, and their pets. Follow her on Twitter:

Forget Riff Raff, the shambling gravelly-voiced Lurch, or any thriller where the killer is the butler; butlers from the Italian Butler's Association (IBA) are remarkably professional in caring for their employers at home in complete privacy.

Alternative eco-friendly fabrics, striking colours and textural combinations are the main ingredients of Giulia Rien à Mettre, the young Italian label that aims to change the way we think of fashion.

The hairs of the stinging nettle (urtica dioica) plant inject histamine and other chemicals when touched by humans and animals. Yet Netl, an innovative Dutch brand, is tempting us to place the fibres of this plant against our skin.

Silvia Brambilla speaks with Italo-Brazilian handbag designer, Paula Cademartori about ruling her own castle, her love for accessories and making it in Milan as a young, emerging designer.

Italian fashion designer Francesca Cremonesi has made it. And she did so without ever enduring the purgatory of The Fashion Internship. After completing three years at a Fashion Institute in Milan, the 32-year old defied convention by immediately launching her own brand. Her secrets to success? Strong ambition, iron will, the right financial support and entrepreneurial panache. The Genteel caught up with Cremonesi in Milan to retrace her path, a path that in just one year, has led to showings at both Milan and Paris fashion weeks. 

Milan has always felt a part of efficient northern Europe, but it's now facing recession like the rest of the country - even if Milanese don't want to believe it. Milan is having an identity crisis. 

Beyond its glossy surface, fashion is also the subject of serious academic study, as demonstrated by Modacult, the academic research centre founded in 1996 at the Catholic University of Milan. Over the last 16 years, Modacult has developed a respected international reputation in the field of socio-cultural studies in fashion, focusing on numerous research areas including consumer and gender studies and culture-led urban regeneration.

For the fiercely experimental art/design/activist collective, Andrea Crews, clothing is not just a medium of style but also a purveyor of creative reinvention catalysed by ethical, social and economic choices.

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