This past Songkran I’m sure many of you traveled and some of you may have even visited Italy like I did. While travelling around, I couldn’t help but hear the sounds of Thai being spoken and had my fair share of friendly greetings and chit chats.
One of the reasons why Thais, along with the rest of the world, flock to spend a small fortune in this country is partially because of its Made in Italy brands. Established in 1980, all of the products under this label are certified to have been designed, packaged and produced in Italy and fall under four traditional industries, or also known as the “Four A”, Abbigliamento (clothes), Agroalimentare (food), Arredamento (furniture) and Automotive (automobiles).
Made in Italy has become a huge success gaining the world’s trust for quality products. However, maintaining this mark has not been easy for certain industries. Due to the economic downturn, the automotive and the furniture industries have found it difficult to produce in the country and have had no choice but to move overseas to cut costs. Today, only food and fashion remain as part of Made in Italy.
Italians believe fashion in fact goes well with the kitchen. The kitchen and the art of eating is in the blood of every Italian and from this gave rise to new businesses andtrends. Let’s start from a very classic brand that has been around for ages such as Giorgio Armani. The brand collaborated with the restaurant Nobu, which was created in the Armani Design Space, and became very popular within weeks of opening.
Then there’s the Gucci Café and Restaurant by Gucci, Café Trussardi by Trussardi, both becoming so successful that many others soon followed suit such as Anna Fendi who started a wine business and Renzo Rosso who also went into wine and olive oil. Armani increased its product line to making delectable chocolates under the name Armani Dolci. Dolce&Gabbana have their own Magnum ice-cream and Roberto Cavalli has created a line of dinnerware as part of its Home Collection.
Aside from the Superbrands turning to the food business, there are well-known brands that have incorporated food into their designs such as Moschino who worked with McDonald’s to create a collection that was the talk of the town two years ago. Chanel made a collection in the style of the supermarket-designing bags, shoes and clothes inspired by various elements found at the local grocery store.
This is certainly not the last we have seen of food and fashion combined. Let’s keep our eyes peeled for what Italian designers will come up with next.