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Mario Boselli – International Ambassador of Italian Fashion

Mario Boselli was a successful businessman who expanded his family-run silk business into overseas markets. In 1973, he incorporated techniques from the ancient silk tradition, from the knotted fabrics up to the finished garments. His companies operate in Italy and in Slovak Republic. From 1999 to 2015 he served as president of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, supporting new talents in the industry.

Boselli holds many other positions: chairman of Centrobanca, of the Cariplo Staff Pension Fund, of SETEFI; member of the Management Committee of UBI Bank; president of the Italian-Slovak Chamber of Commerce (Bratislava); vice president and member of the Conseil de Surveillance of the DMC (Dollfus mieg & C. i.e.); president of the Italy-Hong Kong Association; and member  of the board of directors of Premiere Vision.

Currently, he’s the honorary president of the Italian Chamber of Fashion where he’d like to contribute more to the internationalization of the Italian fashion industry and president of the Arab Fashion Council.

After Milan Fashion Week, he sat down with Federica di Cintio to talk about the future of Italian Fashion and something close to his heart – supporting new talent.

What do you think about the Milan Fashion Week compared to those in New York, Paris, and London
Milan is like a wedding favor compared to the other capitals, but this is the main reason why Italian fashion can actually offer the excellence that is the “made in Italy.”

We have many more fashion shows during the Milan fashion week than the French in Paris. We are talking about something like 85% of presence of Italian brands against the 45% of the French during the Paris Fashion week.

These are remarkable numbers even if, on the other hand, it means a decreased internationality.

What is the main characteristic of each Fashion Week?
Each Fashion Week has a characteristic feature: New York and London are contemporary; Paris means haute couture; and, Milan is the leader of the high range prêt-à-porter.

As a supporter of the new talents, what are the projects and the prospects in this field?
Youth is our future!

The  Italian Chamber of Fashion has always invested in the new talents.

Since I was the President, we had three main projects:

FASHION INCUBATOR: a 360° help, such as finance, administration, set up, and all the aspects that are often left behind by the creatives.

This operation has been doable with the courtesy of the Commune of Milan.

NEXT GENERATION: A selection of five companies to produce a capsule collection of 12 outfits that is the right amount to understand the brand’s signature style.

NUDE: a presentation of both fashion incubator and next generation that we can define as a low cost opportunity to the talents to present their collection during the fashion week and to appear  on a prestigious stage such as Fashion Week. We supported the emerging designers by putting them in the Fashion Week woman calendar and by supporting them setting-up the fashion shows, from the make-up to the lights, models and everything that is behind a fashion show.

This has been the situation until 2015, when I was still the President.

Now, with the new President, Carlo Capasa, we have:

HUBE that is a big spot at the Unicredi’s Pavillon in Gae Aulenti square that can be defined a mini fair.

VOGUE TALENT that is a designers contest in collaboration with Vogue magazine.

The good thing about the Milan fashion week is that in this moment some brands have left the calendar and this gave us the opportunity to create several slots into the calendar for the new designers so that now they can really take part at the Fashion Week side by side with the most known brands.

Are  the fashion industry and all the projects really accessible to the unknown designers?
Let me say that today it is extremely hard for a talent to emerge because of the huge market and because many more economic resources are needed compared to the past.

When I meet a designer, I try to explain that the fashion industry doesn’t mean just being a designer because there are many and various open positions.

I refer to some less famous figures such as tailor, visual merchandiser, stylist and, above all, the modeler.  If I should give my personal advice, I’d suggest to work as a modeler because at the present time it is the most paid job. (Note: The modeler is someone who realizes the designer’s ideas and translates them into a prototype. This is crucial because this process is what makes a dress something wearable.)

What does “made in Italy” mean?
When we think about Italian fashion we are used to refer to the prêt-à-porter that has a recent history if we only consider that it was born on the February 12, 1951, when Giambattista Giorgini presented the first collection to the American buyers.

But the Italian textile tradition has its roots back in the days and it is a history made of skills and talents that  actually distinguish the foundations of what we call the “made in Italy”.

“Made in Italy” equals the excellence of the materials that we can find in a pipeline from the string to the textile.

What I like to say is that designers in our country are simplified for having here the best resources. Italian textile is an authentic upgrade of quality to any designers.

And last, don’t forget that quality is equal to a low impact pollution: it is the authentic green choice.

As a careful observer of the youth, what do you think about the bloggers?
The bloggers are a phenomenon that deserves to be examined such as each trend and this is the main reason why the Chamber of fashion back in the days, it was the 2014, dedicated a spot to the bloggers at the Hube at Palazzo Giureconsulti.

I’d say that there is a surviving  basis of the first generation [of bloggers,] but, like every trend, when it gets excessive it turns into something negative.

You are the President of the Arab Fashion Council, what can you say about this project?
The Arab Fashion Council has a great potential as the council groups 22 countries from Morocco to Lebanon passing through the Arab Emirates.

Actually this is a project to upgrade the greatest textile countries to create a pipeline in collaboration with Italy that will be translated in a larger wellness for everybody and in the creation of a Pan European Mediterranean zone.

African countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt  are the most remarkable suppliers of Italy and France; Lebanon , Giordania and Syria are the countries of the tailoring and all this process is showcased at the Arab Fashion Week.

How it comes that at Fashion Week we can see the same trends on the catwalks such as the designers talk each other?
I’d distinguish among trend and macro trend: the first one is about the brand’s signature style that we find in each collection; and the second one is a specific trend such as the transparency, low waist, fitted pants and so on that is a  market request.

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Mario Boselli – International Ambassador of Italian Fashion


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