Matteo Pasca, Arsutoria School Director since 2003 tells us valuable suggestions on how to transform your passion for bags and shoes in a success career in 2024.
The economist Enrico Cietta, author of HCP (Hybrid Creative Products) theory states that within fashion industry products, creativity is inseparable from the ability to make them. A creativity that does not go in a harmonious way with a competent dexterity ends up being an abstract exercise just for its own sake.
Two examples come to mind: the first one is the US documentary “Valentino: The Last Emperor” from 2008. In a sequence, the extraordinary Italian designer tells to have woken up one day with the image of a dress in his mind. Then he goes to the atelier where a group of tailors dedicated to the Maison Haute Couture listens to his ideas and gets to work. Textiles and materials are selected, expert hands make the first sample and the model wears it. Valentino discusses technical solutions with Antonella De Angelis, his historical collaborator and in charge of tailoring team. An amazing example of the urgency of the creative idea in the designer mind to become object and to be worn.
The second example is the exhibition “Salvatore Ferragamo 1898-1960” hosted until November 4th, 2024, at the Ferragamo Museum in Florence, a magical place masterfully coordinated by the great director Stefania Ricci. The exhibition launched on October 27th 2023, celebrates the opening of the first Ferragamo store in Hollywood in 1923. A brief text taken directly from the museum website: “ the current project […] benefits from new junctions that on one side bring to light the contribution of Ferragamo to the reinassance of handcraft and to definition of Made in Italy after WWII, on the other side they highlight how Italian design, expressed thanks to Ferragamo footwear too, is based on the winning bond between decorative and handcraft tradition, functionality and technological innovation.
At last, in this deep context of connection between creativity and craftmanship, a tangible example of how these 2 components interconnects with passion and dedication is offered by one of the most influential designer of today’s panorama, Gherardo Felloni, who has recently been awarded in New York with “designer of the year 2023” award. In his biography Gherardo says “I was born in Tuscany, near Arezzo, and grew up in the countryside. My father and my uncle had a shoe factory, LAMOS, founded in 1958, and I used to go to the factory where I stayed with the craftsmen, I enjoyed cutting the tinted leathers and playing with the heels”.
Creativity is a gift but craftmanship is a job that can be learned
The school’s director remembers “ I met with Giovanni Felloni almost 20 years ago at Prada”. Betelli had acquired the Lamos shoe factory that has become Prada footwear division and Felloni was the director. I went to introduce Arsutoria and Felloni surprised me, letting me know that him together with many fellow colleagues in the pattern engineering team had attended our school and he also still kept some historical Arsutoria magazine as they were an important source of insipiration.
Taking inspiration from what I wrote up to know I feel I can assert that creativity is a gift but craftmanship is a job that can be learned. All over Italy, the most prestigious fashions brands are organizing training paths on craftsmanship. As a matter of fact, together with Marche Region ITS, we are working on a collaborative project with a group that brings to market important brands with great success.
Arsutoria has been next to these trainings for years, moving forward with the “savoire faire” tradition in the footwear and leather good field. One-Year Diplomas nowadays are the reference in Italy for those who want to start a carrer in Italy as a designer or as a technician. The bond between design, craftmanship and innovation is one of the characteristics of the Milanese school that guarantee a 360 degrees training.