Milano

It has been over a month since we arrived in this beautiful land that mothers the worlds finest architecture, art and fashion houses. Between school and settling down our schedule has been saturated. Last week we were lucky enough to be in Milan for fashion week. Even if we were not attending the shows we got a vast feeling of the city at its best.

The First stop was Como. We visited Riccardo Mantero Seterie’s office where we were presented from antique archives to current prints. That same afternoon we paid a visit to its factory Mantero Seta and had a tour throughout the color kitchen and the printing of designer fabrics. My heart skipped a bit when I got a glimpse of the double C’s on the printers.

Day 2 was a full Milano day went to the top of the Milan Cathedral. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente. Of course we had to get our retail therapy, or should I say observe and take detailed notes for our class at the department store Excelsior. One of the coolest environments I have been in. Following, we went to the trade show “White”. (sorry, no pictures) It was a great to see all of these fashion brands, from makeup and fragrance to shoes and accessories. Innovative beautiful quality shadowed most of the booths. To conclude our day, with a cherry on top went to Rossana Orlandi Concept store. Where art was the main component. Furniture and other pieces were manifested in all forms of beauty while some others might call it weird.

Our final day consisted in a series of fashion exhibits the 1st one was Palazzo Morando Custume Museum, followed by Vogue “Who’s Next” and Anna Piaggi’s “Hat-ology” and to wrap up our itinerary, one more retail store 10 Corso Como.

This voyage was truly enticing and inspirational, and this is just the beginning.

-Natalie

What’s Gucci, yo?

Hey guys!

My name is Zach, and I’m studying International Fashion Merchandising/Marketing in Florence for my 3rd year at FIT. I’m pleased to say that I’ll be blogging for the FIT in Florence blog now!

Today, us Merchandising/Marketing students took a trip to the GUCCI Headquarters, located in Scandicci, just outside of Florence. In this particular building, there are 1,200 employees. Despite the pouring rain, we were all wide-eyed and excited to see the secrets held inside of this huge designer facility. Upon arrival, we received guest passes with our names on them to be worn around our necks.

We were greeted warmly by a girl who was not much older than us students. She studies part time in Milan and works full time as an assistant to the Production Manager for Gucci in Scandicci. She gave us a tour of each department of the facility. Here, they develop products and create all of the prototypes which are then sent out to 60 different factories who produce and assemble the goods. We were shown an archive of every textile used for their accessories. Every kind of leather (crocodile, python, Louisiana alligator, ostrich) with every type of finish imaginable. I personally loved the black “rubberized” leathers. The things I’d do for a motorcycle jacket of this material! We saw furs of all forms and colors, synthetic materials, sheet-thin deer-skin, and more. The artisans showed us how they cut the leathers, using only the most flawless parts of the leather and using the less-nice parts for finishing touches and small goods. They source from the best tanneries located in Florence. Everything is hand cut using a very tiny, special cutting knife that’s sharpened before every use. Going through the workshop, we saw tons of skilled workers, each working on a different Gucci product, mainly handbags. There is only one man who makes the customized travelling trunks. They take about a month to make each, and sell for an unimaginable amount. You can take your pick from buying a new house, or a hand-made Gucci trunk. Some recent clients mentioned were Rihanna and John Travolta (who apparently uses his two trunks as coffee tables). They can be made with any textile of your choice, and are finished with luxurious hardware, usually gold. Lastly, we were taken to “the bamboo room.” This is where they finish, heat and reform stalks of bamboo for their famous “bamboo bag”. The bamboo is imported from China, and only the roots are used because they are strong and not hollow like the plant itself.

Walking through the halls of Gucci’s headquarters is an overwhelming feeling. We all know gucci, and the quality that is associated with it. Some of us know the crazy story of the Gucci family (Guccio’s vision, the rebellion of his grandchildren, Maurizio’s assassination). Gucci represents a powerhouse of a family, their struggles, and their triumphs. Along the walls are black and white photographs from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s, showing family members, celebrities, and handsome people wearing Gucci. The lights inside were bright and everything sparkling clean. I hope to someday work at a place like this.

The next time you see a Gucci bag, consider the amount of time and effort that goes into making it. Know that it passes through this facility in Scandicci, and is, in every aspect, a luxury item!

Spring Break in Ibiza, Spain

One of the best things about studying abroad is the ability to hop on and off a plane and travel all throughout Europe. Even with all the work we have left to do before graduation (next week!!!), a few girls and I took a 4 day vacation to Ibiza, Spain.. after all, it IS spring break :) The beaches were incredible and absolutely breathtaking. Ibiza’s known for it’s clubs and bars right along the beaches during the summer. And because it was off season, the beaches were quieter, but I definitely enjoyed being able to relax with the incredible view of the Mediterranean and it’s crystal clear aqua waters!


{greeted by blue skies & palm trees}

{the view at lunch}

{couldn’t leave Spain without having some paella!}

{40 euro cab ride to the most beautiful beach ever, Cala Conta}

{BLISS}

{crystal clear, aqua waters}

{brunch along the beach}

{the sun starting to set}

I never wanted to leave.. but back to reality! Although the trip was short, it was well worth it. It was definitely nice being able to take a break from doing work, but now back to the grind till next week! Hope everyone finishes strong! :)

The Trip to Two Continents

Last week, my friends and I decided to take a long weekend trip to Istanbul, Turkey. The unique city literally featured “the best of both worlds”. Situated on the Bosporus Straight, half of this city lies on the continent of Europe, while the other half lies on the continent of Asia. The city also combines both the Christian culture of Europe with the Islamic culture of the middle-eastern portions of Asia.  

            Our first day began early, with a long tour. We saw historical sites such as the Hagia Sofia and The Blue Mosque. These were some of the most beautiful religious sites I have ever seen. The tour concluded with a trip to the Grand Baazar where we were able to buy authentic Turkish souvenirs.

The next day was fairly relaxed. We decided that we should take a trip to the Asian side of the city before we left, so that we could say that we have been on the continent. The Asian side was much more authentic, with very few people speaking English. It was a great experience but we left quickly. Our night concluded with a delicious Turkish dinner overlooking the Hagia Sofia

Overall our trip was fantastic. Istanbul was an incredibly distinctive place, which I would highly suggest people to visit!