I cannot live without dreams. If you have a big dream you can make it. So you have to dream on a big scale.”
you can manage to leave a trail behind you, something independent of your family, then you become a part of history.” This was one of the phrases often repeated by Franca Sozzani, the former editor of who passed away at the age of 66 in December. Her departure from the international fashion system has left a big void, with an impact that is still hard to fully assess. What lives on, instead, with the same force as when she was alive, is an exceptional legacy in terms of commitment, creativity and support for young talent. It is the competition for new talents of the fashion system, created in 2005 as a platform to identity new designers. At the time of its debut the event seemed like an impossible wager: in that period, in fact, the Italian fashion system was caught between the big names, with no really new proposals, and a virtual absence of public institutions, without private investment in innovation. Above all, the system relied on an obsolete, lumbering modus operandi, that of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion. Nevertheless, the first edition of
brought something different, and revolutionary, to the attention of all. It immediately raised to prominence two names that would become very important: Tommaso Aquilano/roberto Rimondi (then called 6267, who later also became the creative directors of Gianfranco Ferré) and Albino (who now has his own line, as Albino Teodoro). The list of successive winners is proof of the importance of the competition: Nicolas Kirkwood, Marco De Vincenzo, MSGM, Stella Jean, Au Jour Le Jour, Paula Cademartori, Arthur Arbesser, Andrea Incontri, Christian Pellizzari, Umit Benan, Andrea Pompilio, Lucio Vanotti, Fabio Quaranta. A brain drain reversal, as against all expectations Italy becomes a country for the young: year after year, has managed to bring together talent and industry, ideas and finances. And the story continues: in 2008, the success of the initiative led to the development of
another publishing and communication platform with the same objectives. Over the years, Franca Sozzani became the godmother and promoter-member of the President of the
President of Global Ambassador Against Hunger of the
Her activities and positions were many, and illustrious, impossible to outline in a small article. What we can mention is the fact that the experiment Vogue Talents has been a dream come true in Italy, a country that nearly always clips the wings of young talents, rather than giving them a chance to fly. “And you should never ever be cheap with your dreams,” Franca would say with a smile. “Dream big. And then find someone to support you.” and have brought the big support every little dreamer required. A practical laboratory, still perfectly functioning today, capable of serving up the favorite delicacy of the fashion system: the new, with all its indispensable qualities for the necessary renewal of the sector.