GIOVANNI BATTISTA GIORGINI
(1898 – 1971; Italy) Though he is not a designer, we decided to introduce him since is considered the father of the “Made in Italy”. He organized the first true Italian fashion show in Florence, on the 12th of February 1951. Since then Italy begins to have its own style without copying the French one, much in vogue at that time.
Bista, as he was called, opened his own business dealing with typical Italian handicraft export in America and this helped greatly to understand the American market. Due to the Wall Street crash in ’29, work suffers a sharp slowdown; only because of his talent is able to reverse the trend by importing from the U.S. toys, gifts and clothes ready to wear: they are not very welcome because too futuristic for the Italian market.
The first success is demonstrated by the good management of the “Allied Forces Gift Shop” entrusted by the Allies in a country devastated by the Second World War. During these years he starts thinking to launch the Italian high fashion. Between ’49 and ’50 he proposes to B. Altman, a leading luxury brand of the stores in New York, to sponsor a fashion show of Italian clothing, who, however, refuses. Bista can only set it in his country. Unfortunately, the choice is complicated because the most famous Italian fashion houses bought French patterns, which are then tailored in Italy and sold to wealthy female class. Fashion is under the French haute couture influence. So his proposal is rejected from Italy. The last chance lies in working with new upcoming Italian designers, who, thanks to some false promises of Bista, accept the proposal. American buyers will attend the show only because friends of Giorgini .
In those years there is a real revolution in the Italian fashion: for the first time the most prestigious Italian brands are shown all together. They are outfits born by the sheer creativity of Made in Italy tailoring. The fashion show will take place immediately after those of Paris and not several weeks away like it used to allow the plagiarism of the Parisian catwalks. Strategically, the show opens with boutique clothing and those dedicated to leisure and sports, sectors that Paris did not have. This was useful to stimulate the attention of American buyers, the objective was reached and opened the doors to the Italian fashion, one that even today all the world knows and imitates.