Fashion is not just a commercial enterprise, “the industry”, it is also an expression of an historical era. In this sense, fashion should be considered as part of the cultural heritage of a country, to be protected in museums. Examples of this include ‘The Victoria and Albert Textiles and Fashion Collection’ in London, ‘The Museum at IFT’ (Fashion Institute of Technology) and the ‘Costume Institute’ at the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) in New York.
Italy would need a Fashion Museum, or rather a network of museums aimed at enhancing the cultural heritage of Italian fashion.
In particular, findings from the Italian Ministerial ‘Study Commission for the Identification of public policies for the Protection, Conservation, Enhancement and Accessibility of Italian Fashion as Cultural Heritage’ highlight the need for Italy to establish a network of institutions able to support the fashion industry and its legacy, such as small museums, craft laboratories and shops, and libraries hosting editorial, publishing and corporate archives. Such institutions could be used not only as exhibition areas but they could also host fashion shows and workshops for young designers.
It would be important to promote the cities of Milan, Florence, Rome and Naples and managing together private, corporate and institutional entities, protecting the so-called “Made in Italy”.