Italians are worldwide known for being “fashionable” and “stylish”. This reputation has being developed over many years, however the question is: Are Italians really “fashionable”? And, if they are, what does “being fashionable” means?
Though these past months of studying and living in the birthplace of fashion, Florence, I’ve been able to observe Florentians’ habits andlifestyle, as well as the way they dress and accessorize. I got really interested when noticing that local’s fashion differs from ours in various ways. After listening over and over again people from Mexico stating that Italians have great style and are known for being well-dress, I could see for myself they do dress well, but not necessarily following the trends or the styles that are fashionable atthe time. Instead I noticed they wear classic styles and silhouettes, as well as sober colors in their garments and high quality made clothes. For me this way of dressing is more like a “good taste”, than a “fashion-follower style” This observation led me to create this hypothesis: Regardless of the price, Florentians prefer to buy high quality classic clothing and accessories, instead of buyinga larger amount of trendy pieces.
Giving this hypothesis, the research was basically executed in order to understand the Italian value and perception of fashion: “Quality vs. Quantity”. Nevertheless while carrying out with the collection of data, many different related topics caught my attention and made my research much more complete and enriching.
It’s interesting to note that thehypothesis is made under the basis that fashion is derived from the culture, and that people dress in a certain way to make a statement and show the culture they belong to. In other words: why would all Florentians dress alike, but to communicate they all belong to this culture?
Even though the results were not exactly those expected, during the research many universal and general concepts aboutfashion and culture rose, making the conclusions much more interesting than anticipated. The idea that everything depends on the context and that everything is relative to many different factors is also strongly enforced in this research. Nevertheless, as mention before, the most important subject studied in the research was the Florentians perception of quality, and if they indeed prefer it overquantity, therefore the results are based mainly in this point, in order to answer the previously stated questions.
Previous to the research, the observations were made on the daily base, when walking on the streets and visiting different stores, museums, restaurants (both local and touristic). There I could note the difference between locals and tourists in how they dress toattend different places and events. Later in the process of collecting data, the observations were made in public centric places and fashion well-known stores, were a lot of tourists hang out, and some locals go for shopping. Via Tornabuoni, Luisa Via Roma, Max Mara, Via Faenza, Mercato San Lorenzo, Piazza de la Signoria, Ponte Vecchio and the surroundings were some of the places I chose. Someother observations were made in the outside of the center, where more Florentians live and where various small boutiques and vintage stores are placed. This places were mostly crossing the river, and in the surroundings of Piazza Becaria.
The observations were made during the last month on Saturdays and Sundays, when it is known that people hang out (fare il giro), walk around, go shopping, andwear their best garments.
In order to get a clear understanding of the Italian fashion and the reasons behind it, the interviews were made to women and men, of 30-50 years old that were born or lived for more than 10 years in Florence and have middle to high income. The range of age and income are due to prevent altered results by reason of lack of financial power of acquisition. This...