Courtesy of Massimo Gardone
Tea ITS Competition It represents one of the most important awards for emerging fashion worldwide. Acclaimed alumni include Demna Gvasalia (popularly known as Demna, founder of Vetements and creative director of Balenciaga), Matthieu Blazy (creative director of Bottega Veneta), Richard Quinn and dozens of professionals who define contemporary fashion. The competition originated and is still based in Trieste, a port city in northeastern Italy, far from the best-known centers of international fashion. Less than a year ago, ITS Arcademy, Fashion Art Museum It opened its doors as a place that shares the story of the award and contributes to its future.
Barbara Franchin founded ITS and managed to put the ITS Competition on the calendars of the most important fashion houses; they now rely on his talent search when searching for their next visionary hire. Since 2002, Franchin and her team have preserved and cataloged every portfolio they received, as well as the clothing and accessories each applicant made. The result is a staggering archive of 14,758 fashion portfolios (the largest on the planet), 1,089 dresses, 163 accessories, 118 pieces of jewelry and more than 700 photography projects. The archive was closed to the public for years, but this changed with the opening of the museum.
The exhibition area begins with a highly emotional video. manifestThen we will take a short journey into the history of the competition. Visitors then enter the impressive portfolio archive. Some portfolios are on display, others are digitally reproduced and can be browsed in a large interactive book. Discovery continues through initial setup, First Exhibition. 20 years of contemporary fashion evolution, a simple exploration of fashion expressed in nearly 100 dresses, accompanied by a beautiful catalog and curated by Olivier Saillard. We meet Franchin here to find out more.
First of all, why is it called Arcademy? What does this neologism mean?
An assertive name, a name that contains three different meanings. Let’s start with this “R”, which looks like a typo but instead refers to the word arc. We felt like a ship. We collect and save species all over the world. Our claim, our manifesto, is only to save creativity.
Latter, [it is an] Archive, because we were born out of competition and instead of throwing things away, we held on to everything. Everything finds a home in 1,400 square meters, a space where everyone can explore their own creativity with the creativity of others.
The third concept is academy [because] We have an educational section. We do this through our archive, through the emotions and projects of 14,000 people. This training gives us great happiness. When you inspire someone, when you give them an opportunity, it leaves us speechless to see the reactions. If people can still think, create, and have their own thoughts, then we have hope.
This is not just a museum, it is a place to live. What purpose does it serve?
The idea is constantly evolving. We don’t have a fixed idea and we don’t want to have one. We won’t turn this into a museum. We decided not to plan for more than three years into the future because we don’t know what will happen, what the world will be like in three years. We want to be ready for change quickly.
What could be the next exhibition?
It is clear that the ITS archive is fundamental. There are over a thousand works in our archive that can establish a dialogue with themselves or with visitors. The width of the on-screen dialogue will change from time to time. How will it develop? Maybe in four years, not a single piece of the archive will be exhibited, maybe just one project, one thought, one sentence.
What is your vision for the future of fashion based on what you know from ITS?
Definitely sustainability and the concept of smaller the better shows you that fashion is likely to become more personal. It will be more one-on-one fashion. Young people tend to use the bare minimum, ordering, cutting only the materials they need, recycling, reclaiming. This is definitely a part that already exists, but it will only get bigger.
As for artificial intelligence, we saw the first signs of it six, seven years ago. We are very interested. We are waiting to see if designers will use it or not. I definitely appreciate it when it’s used as a tool to enhance your creative ability rather than changing you.