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GLOBAL IMAC Fashion & Art Hybridization

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GLOBAL IMAC Fashion & Art Hybridization

13 January 2022
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The Global IMAC in Fashion & Art Hybridization has been organized to understand and get more insights into how to re-create a fashion brand. As it has always been, every brand absorbs its surroundings, inspired by the creative field they work in. In the 21st Century, there has been intense cross-pollination of literature, music and art, with plenty of proofs of it up to this day.

The panel saw some of the most renowned international professionals from Fashion and Art in an insightful discussion on their professional path and what inspires their works:

Marinella Senatore · Multidisciplinary visual artist
Sarah Coleman ·  Artist and Mentor of Istituto Marangoni Firenze
Andy Picci ·  Artist and Mentor of Istituto Marangoni Firenze
Gianluigi Ricuperati ·  Author, Producer, Curator
Massimo Torrigiani ·  Curator and editor, Founder of Boiler magazine
Paul Andrew ·  Fashion Designer, Mentor of Istituto Marangoni Firenze


The panel was introduced byy Stefania Valenti- Istituto Marangoni Managing Director – and moderated by Francesca Giulia Tavanti · Programme Leader of Art Courses at Istituto Marangoni Firenze

Francesca Giulia Tavanti briefly introduced the panel discussion by underlining the concept of “artification”, which refers to the situation when non-art is modified by art, a process that needs to be taken into account, as fashion brands use it too at marketing level, to legitimize the brand and to better define the brand identity.

This is also why many brands are collaborating with artists, as they are now a pivotal figure in the industry.

The starting point of the discussion was: how can educational institutions enhance and support young talents in the future?

Here some of the guests’ opinions:  

Marinella Senatore • Multidisciplinary Visual Artist

A famous visual artist, Marinella Senatore recounted her participatory research & language related to her experience with Dior in Lecce back in 2020.

Maria Grazia Chiuri reached out to her and asked her to create the space for the Dior event that would be held in Lecce. Due to the pandemic, they had to make some changes, and, in the end, she created and developed different moments and structures, also made of disruption. More specifically, she dealt with display and different layers, mixing structures and lighting, to celebrate the community.

She also works with street performances (e.g. Palazzo Strozzi last year), the result of workshops and long-term relations with the community. Her art is not focused on forms and materials, but rather on processes.

For the Dior event in Lecce she used the ‘luminarie’, a major cultural element in Southern Italy, reinterpreting the Barocco style. The event emphasized the concepts of associations and gatherings of people.

Sarah Coleman · Artist and Mentor at Istituto Marangoni Firenze

Mentor of the Firenze School, Sarah Coleman is well-known for her collaboration with Fendi and for the different allure she sees in sustainability.

For Satah to be an artist means to work physically with her hands, as the creative process is what drives her practice. 

In her life, she has always combined luxury with daily items (upcycling), and transformed things for fun; to her, it is like creating a connection with the world around her.

She depicts artists and artisans as professionals using the same form of expression, because they get to make items by hand and to create value..

Her keyword today is disruption: what matters the most is to give new life to an old or existing object, to make something brand new.

Andy Picci · Artist and Mentor at Istituto Marangoni Firenze

As another Mentor of the Firenze School, Andy Picci is a big name in the art and fashion Industry, as in its work he portrays the society we currently live in.

For Andy art is an element of discussion; it is personal and depends on the topic we are touching. What does not change is the way we can use brands to get artistic value to work, and more so today, with the great impact of digitization conceived as augmented reality.

The relationship between Artist and brand is a great opportunity: a brand can unlock budgets that would be difficult to raise as a simple artist. It is also a way to connect and produce the artist’s idea, becoming a real mouthpiece, also because existing online is a continuation of the personal search for our Identity.

This blurs the boundaries even more between what is considered art and what is real.

Picci highlights how brands now reach out to Artists to think outside the box, giving them the freedom to express their own ideas and values. Virtual reality and interactivity can offer a new way of understanding our surroundings (e.g. by designing clothing with software) and represent the future of collaborations between fashion and art. 

Gianluigi Ricuperati · Author, Producer and Curator

Ricuperati started his collaboration with Valentino by creating a new kind of creative dialogue that he has been working on for a few years now.

Ricuperati stresses the concept of cross-disciplinary, as Art implies the with artists in a completely different way is what drives him.

At some point of his career, he decided to focus on paintings and decided to get in touch personally with curators. He came up with the idea of gathering 100 painters from all continents, selected just by following his gut feelings.

Valentino’s latest haute couture collection is the result of this selection, expressing a deep connection with these artists: as an artist or a curator, you need to establish some interesting rules, but also be able to break them. In the current scenario, there is a sort of balanced relationship between art and fashion.

He found this project exciting and language-based; some artists worked directly with the Atelier and there is their name on the tag, as an ethical statement of collaboration.

Massimo Torrigiani · Curator and Editor, Founder of Boiler magazine

Massimo Torrigiani is the founder of the Boiler Magazine.

He started his process of self-discovery when he was appointed Director of the Shanghai Art Fair;  

Regarding Art itself, Massimo  feels that we are still talking about it and we don’t even know what art is; it is more a function than a thing.

Sometimes brands and companies can have big budgets (that could not be obtained otherwise).

According to Torrigiani, videos are no longer a way to communicate a brand’s personality. In fact, it is almost the other way around: the collection is an expression of the video. This  is why fashion is so interested in art and music.

We can bring these two souls together and try to experiment with them, and even to learn from failures.

Paul Andrew · Fashion Designer and Mentor at Istituto Marangoni Firenze

Paul Andrew has been working with big brands in the industry for over 20 years and then started his own business, inspired by leading artists, installations and exhibitions. An example of how you can incorporate inspirations in your work can be seen in his  2018 collection. For this specific collection, Paul went to Paris and was influenced by the local architecture: the shoes he created incorporate many elements of the sculptural and artistic works he saw there. His work is widely inspired by contemporary artist like Andy Warhol, Brancusi, Dan Lavin, etc.

After launching his eponymous brand, he started to collaborate with Ferragamo as Women’s Footwear Design Director; his work there was about the brand’s heritage.

To highlight the brand’s relationship with Hollywood, Paul partnered up with the famous film director, Luca Guadagnino, to recreate the Hitchcock movies atmosphere to present the 2020 collection. An example of how Art can mix with different disciplines.

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