Cittadellarte Fashion
Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend



In September at Cittadellarte the talk is going to be about fashion with an event dedicated to responsible fashion.

Opening 22nd September 2009
23 September 2009 – February 2010
In 2009 – the year dedicated to natural fibre – Cittadellarte investigates fashion by launching an initiative born from the contamination between art with social responsibility and that part of the fashion world searching for a new model for ethical and sustainable development.

Cittadellarte Fashion – Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend is opening a workshop in Biella dedicated to the development of fashion based on the principles of sustainability.
The opening will be on the 22nd of September with an exhibition event aimed at connecting creativity, production, marketing and consumer awareness, through the presentation of sustainable products ranging from raw material to finished product, valorised by designers selected by Franca Sozzani and Michelangelo Pistoletto.

Fhoto Enrico Amici

The event will open with a working conference that will have the participation of several personalities from different fields such as fashion, industry and sustainability, arts and research. During the working conference on the 22nd of September, Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco, Alexia Niedzielski, Elizabeth von Guttman will present in preview EVER MANIFESTO her editorial project on ecology and sustainability.

The meeting, the presentation of the clothing created by the young designers and the exhibition to be inaugurated on the 22nd of September are not an ephemeral, one-off events but the start of a process, the opening of a place of work, exchange and research. The combination of various factors distinguishes and valorises this centre. These factors essentially consist of the identity of the Biella district, internationally renowned as a pole of textile excellence, and the activities of Cittadellarte, which commits art to the sustainable development of society.

The exhibition, the clothing created by the fashion designers, textiles and textile material of the companies that participated and the mirror artwork “Prima Scena – La presentazione” by M. Pistoletto, will be visible to the public from 23 September 2009, at the new spaces Cittadellarte.

press release


Concept video: Sara Conforti | Editing: Elastica
Cittadellarte Fashion  - B.E.S.T.
22nd September 2009, Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella
Working Conference

Paolo Naldini (Managing Director of Cittadellarte)

Michelangelo Pistoletto (Artist)
Franca Sozzani (Director of Vogue Italia)
Mercedes Bresso (President of Piedmont Region) with a message read by Giuliana Carusi Setari  (President of Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto)
Walter Santagata (Professor in cultural economics)
Paolo Zegna (Vice-president Confindustria)
Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco, Alexia Niedzielski, Elizabeth von Guttman (Founders Ever Manifesto)

“In the year of natural fibres Cittadellarte investigates fashion by starting the “Cittadellarte Fashion Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend” project, born from a contamination between socially responsible art and the world of fashion that’s looking for a new model for ethical and sustainable development.”
Paolo Naldini

“Cittadellarte Fashion aims to become the epicentre for the convergence of different energies, like aesthetics and ethics, creativity and production, artistic sensitivity and social commitment. Today there’s a profuse interaction at Cittadellarte between fashion designers and producers. Like the authoritative experience of Franca Sozzani and the new initiative of Charlotte Casiraghi and her co-writers in the new magazine Ever Manifesto.
The common goal is to stimulate and generate progress in society through the contribution of new values. The same values on which the commitment of Cittadellarte Fashion is based, as defined in the Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend.
It is a confluence of factors that I personally try to make clear through the symbol of the Third Paradise and in the big weaver spider in the exhibition hall. The Third Paradise is an evolutionary passage in which human intelligence finds a way to cohabit with the intelligence of nature. The first paradise is the natural paradise, the second, the artificial one that has led to a saturation bordering on the unsustainable.
We’ve reached the turning point, as Franca Sozzani sustains.
Progress has begun a grand turnaround. The conquests of science and technology have to direct their efforts to conserving human life on this wonderful planet.
(…) In ’96 at the Pecci Meseum in Prato I presented a review entitled "Habitus-Abito-Abitare". The mental Habitus, man, the body and its second skin, and “abitare”, or “living”, intended as a third skin as well as the planetary habitat. These are the themes we are working on.
A new responsibility has been taken on by art in the attempt to translate into reality the imagination of a normal life, worthy of being humanly lived”.
Michelangelo Pistoletto

“Linking art with social responsibility certainly isn’t a new thing. But then again revising and updating the need of art to the demands of the entire collective is no small feat.
Art brings awareness, and at times it does so with far more effect than a newspaper article, a valid essay or the speech of a politician. However, it is also true that these days it’s not unusual to associate the world of fashion – which is art to all effects – with the principles of environmental sustainability, freeing it from the ideas of the “ephemeral” to which it is linked by definition. Fashion changes, customs change, just as the usages of the people. That’s the way it should be and always will be. Nevertheless, managing to associate the concept of fashion with an inescapable value like safeguarding the environment cannot but ennoble this sector; even and above all in accordance with those parameters that are not purely aesthetic, but that concern the entire process that goes from creation to production and on to the marketing of the final item.
The economic crisis has touched out country and it has been particularly hard for the Biella textiles industry. (…) That is why we need a renewal that from the crisis itself draws positive and durable ideas.
To invent and realize ecologically sustainable products is a truly worthy enterprise. But the knowledge that this project is born as an operative workshop in all rights, and supported by the concrete interest and experience of a great number of the world’s stylists – many of whom here today – is a guarantee of a real and widespread commitment”.
Mercedes Bresso

“The meeting with Michelangelo was unexpected: I was expecting the usual art-fashion kind of idea, but what he came up with was something completely new. New to me, but new to the fashion world as well.
To combine art, fashion and ecology.
Ecology isn’t one of the most widely used words in the fashion world vocabulary. Fashion talks about form, colours, lengths, extravagancies, trends, but rarely about ecology. And not because one has little to do with the other, but because fashion is, par excellence, image.  And what lies behind this image (how the clothes are manufactured, how the fabrics are produced) not only isn’t analyzed, but isn’t even explained.
This was the only meeting that made me start to think about how much ecology there effectively is in fashion.
No a lot. And we’re all aware there’s work to be done. Lots of companies are aware of the problems and have been making efforts to create fabrics without using dyes and fixatives that damage the environment. But the problem is that it’s the public that isn’t aware. When people buy a piece of clothing they look at the price, the form, whether it’s trendy and, perhaps, whether it looks good on them: so what’s important is being in fashion. Instead, we have to get used to a totally different approach. It isn’t Utopia, even though it's a process that’s a long time coming.
What’s important, and part of the work we have to do as a magazine, is to educate: educate our readers, into the fact that behind the looks and the glamour of the moment there has to be more. (...) We can explain, and start getting consumers to understand that in any case there’s work, that it’s different, that it’s not easy, that it probably won’t be accepted by many at the outset, but that it can create a greater good than simply looking good in any single garment at any single moment.
So, my personal commitment is to re-educating readers that behind a fashion item there’s something much greater than just appearing, something much more important: saving the planet we’re living on.”
Franca Sozzani

“I believe there’s real synergy between all the people here today, because we all believe that art and fashion shouldn’t concern themselves questions of aesthetics, but look to other, more ethical values, and promote social responsibility. So, through out projects we want to show our readers that it’s still possible to pursue our desire for beauty, innovation ad change, but that this should never prevent use from being responsible consumers.”
Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco

“Through Ever Manifesto we want to make the concept of a more sustainable lifestyle seductive, to change the image of eco-fashion to render it desirable to all”.”
Alexia Niedzielski

“Evolution is the theme of this first ‘Manifesto’, that focuses on the evolution of fashion. We’re all very worried about the things we eat, what we put into our bodies. I think it’s time to start giving the same importance to what we put on our bodies. Clothes are the reflection of the times they’re created in, and a new ethic could be the next step in the evolution of fashion”.
Elisabeth Von Guttman

“Thinking about the theme of this meeting, I believe that the fashion world today seems to be divided by two trends: the industrial trend of mass luxury and the trend of eco-sustainable fashion. A giant and a mouse, for an idea of their proportions.
(…) The second trend aims toward ecological and sustainable production and consumption. It is an industrial choice guided by the changes in consumer preferences. The ones that prefer natural to artificial, equity to exploitation, respect for the environment to its destruction, balanced development for the poorer countries rather than the dominion of the multinationals.
What are the characteristics of eco-sustainable fashion?
First off, its sustainability is environmental and generational and only in part in the sense of local development, because it demands a change in consumer tastes and this is not guaranteed by the logic of economic development, but rather a phenomenon initiated by education and political choice. Eco-sustainable fashion is based on an ethic in the relationships between people, from those who work the raw material to those who wear the final products. Eco-sustainable fashion does not degrade the environment and is productive while still saving energy, thanks to its predisposition to recycling and the use of natural raw materials.
(…) The new product is made with renewable raw materials and energy. It is interactive. It has a correct quality-price ratio. It valorises crafting wisdom and is totally traceable. It is ethically certified, made with organic products and non-toxic dyes, and is a return to the methods and materials of the past. It not only uses classic materials like leather and hide, but discovers new ones, like fish skin. The new chain of production is in some way purified: starting from agriculture, by banning pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Dyeworks and industrial washing plants have water filtering and purification systems. Paper packing replaces plastic. A better balance should aid the survival of the higher part of the chain, and improve product labelling by providing not only the name of the designer, but the name of the fabric manufacturer as well, recognising their value.
The new consumer, more often referred to as prosumer or proactive, takes part in both conception and production, and considers the act of consumption as an emotive experience. The new consumer can also be a collective, capable of forming purchasing and awareness groups able to influence the decisions of designers and manufacturers.
However, the new consumer has to be educated into the new grammar of eco-sustainability.
Only by educating the consumer can we save eco-fashion for an elitist drift, without any real impact on the world economy. Naturally, consumers are guided by quality and price. Eco-sustainable fashion needs to have consumers “politicized” against the exploitation of low salary areas, against the control of world traffic exercised by the multinationals of production and distribution.
Will it be possible to sustain the eco-sustainable trend in the name of art and equity? From an economic and institutional point of view we can say that non-eco and non-sustainable fashion is impoverishing the natural environment and exploiting a weak world employment market. The market and private interests do not seem to be able to change this negative tendency. It follows that eco-SOS fashion has to be sustained by the appropriate institutions, supra-individual, supra-national institutions and international control bodies, that support the effort toward a greater level of education among consumers by establishing rules to reduce the excessive exploitation of resources.”
Walter Santagata

Read the Catalogue online
The workshop for 11 designers selected by Michelangelo Pistoletto and Franca Sozzani for Cittadellarte Fashion, took place from 26 to 29 June at Cittadellarte (Biella). The stylists were able to see and touch the samples of materials provided by the companies participating in the project.
Participating in the workshop were the architect Emanuele Bottigella from the Architecture office of Cittadellarte, Francesco Bernabei from the Economics Office of Cittadellarte and Vittorio Falletti, communicator from Cittadellarte Fashion with the participation of Luca Mercalli, Climatologist, President of the Italian Meteorological Society.
During these days a photographic session took place with Michelangelo Pistoletto and Franca Sozzani in order to realise the “Prima Scena - La Presentazione" ("First Scene - The Presentation”), a mirror painting by Michelangelo Pistoletto.

Video concept and editing: Sara Conforti and elastica produzioni video
working conference

Luca Mercalli (President Società Meteorologica Italiana onlus)

Michelangelo Pistoletto (Artist)
Franca Sozzani (Director of Vogue Italia)
Walter Santagata (Professor in cultural economics)
Paolo Zegna (Vice-president Confindustria)
Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco, Alexia Niedzielski, Elizabeth von Guttman (Founders Ever Manifesto)

12am (area 3):
Preview of the exhibition
Preview of “Prima scena - La presentazione” mirror artwork by Michelangelo Pistoletto

Fashion show/performance - choreography by Doriana Crema

1.30pm (area 1)
Lunch, Sala delle Colonne
Matthew Ames (Unitied States)

Matthew Ames was born in Washington D.C. in 1979. He earned a BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. After working at the atelier of Jurgi Persoons in Antwerp, Belgium, Ames relocated to New York where he began working as a design assistant to Miguel Adrover. In 2004, he was selected as the first American finalist for the Festival de la Mode à Hyères, in France. He showed his first women’s wear collection in 2005 and opened a studio in Brooklyn, New York. In 2009, he received the 8th annual Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award in women’s wear design. His collections have been shown in Paris and New York.

Sandra Backlund (Sweden)

The Stylist obtained her diploma at the Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, and immediately after, in 2004, she established her own line in clothing and has worked full-time on her collections ever since. The human figure and traditional crafted methods are the central aspects of her work: Backlund distorts and transforms the body’s natural silhuette with her clothes, that are real hand-made sculptures. In 2007 she won the Festival International De Mode & De Photographie di Hyeres prize and was selected by Franca Sozzano, director of Vogue Italia, as her protegé for the Protegé Project presented in Florence in 2008. In addition to her personal line, Sandra Backlund also realizes unique items of knitwear for companies like Louis Vuitton, EmilioPucci and the Printemps department store in Paris.

Silvio Betterelli

29 years old, Sardinian. He has been living and working in Milan for eight years. After his studies in the Art of Textiles in Sardinia, Fashion Design in Milan and Fine Art and Textiles Design at the University of Plymouth in England, he dedicated himself to a variety of projects. In 2006 he was co-founder S.M.og Milano, a workshop working at the confines of art-fashion and design. In 2008 he was selected to spend six months in Paris at Les Ateliers de Paris, an insitution that offers space and support to young artists from all over the world. He competed in and won many important international competitions for young fashion designers, like Mittelmoda, Who is on Next, organized by AltaRoma in collaboration with Vogue Italia. In 2006 he was the only Italian designer selected for the Tokyo Fashion Gran Prix. He has worked with the Lycra du Pont Italia textiles department, the Italian Linen Center, Man Museo d’Arte Provincia in Nuoro, and Feg – Salvarani for which he co-signed a collection of furnishing fabrics, Pitti Filati and, most recently, Furla , for which he signed a capsule collection of shoes and bags. Since 2007, in addition to the course he holds at Naba in Milan, he shares (with compatriot stylist Angelo Figus) the chair of the Fashion Design section of the Venice University Architecture Fashion and Product Design course.

Marco De Vincenzo

Born in Messina and resident in Rome, since September 2004 Marco De Vincenzo has been manager of Fendi’s Men/Women’s leather goods sector: researching materials, stylistic R&D for the collections, reviews and approval of prototypes being but a few of his responsibilities at the Rome-based fashion house. Since March 2008 he has been designing a line in clothing under his own name, with which he took part in the January 2009 Paris Fashion week.

Mark Fast (Canada)

Mark Fast, born in Canada 28 years ago, knitwear designer. He grew up in the country, near the city of Winnipeg, but finally found his inspiration in London where he studied for five years at Central St. Martin’s. Mark makes all his creations by hand, using a domestic knitting machine with innovative embroidery techniques and mixing Lycra with viscose, angora or wool. Mark draws on the past for inspiration, translating historic costume and design into contemporary aesthetics.

Marta Forghieri

Marta Forghieri, born in Milan, 29 years old. After graduating in aesthetics at Bologna University, and an apprenticeship with a high fashion house in Berlin, she moved to London to take part in a number of courses at the Central St. Martins College, after which she completed her training at the European Institute in Milan. She worked for two years as manager of the men’s, women’s and accessories collections for the young brand Memine. She is currently working as a freelance consultant. She has presented three shows under her own name: My Own Show 2007 Feed on Fashion 2008 Next Generation - New Upcoming Designers 2009.

Roberta Furlanetto

Roberta Furlanetto, born on the outskirts of Venice, Italy. She graduated from Accademia di Belle Arte in Milan, in 1990. In 1992 she completed a maxi canvass using mixed techniques and collage, which was commissioned by an art collector, who later showed her work to Christian Lacroix. Lacroix drew inspiration from this piece and invited Roberta to begin collaborating with him. She began creating exclusive pieces for his Haute Couture Shows. Nina Ricci soon followed suit, then Dior, Ungaro and Azzedine Alaïa. In 2007 Roberta Furlanetto launched her prêt-a-porter collection. Furlanetto works from her atelier and studio in Milan.

Siri Johansen

Norwegian by birth. Graduated in 2008 from the Royal College of Art in London, in Fashion MA, men’s knitwear. Has worked with numerous prestigious fashion houses. Currently living and working in London.

Mary Katrantzou

In 2008, after her Masters in Fashion at the Central Saint Martin’s school, Mary Katrantzou launched her brand. Her S/S 09 collection was presented at the London Fashion Week, and New Generation Talent thanks to a sponsorship. At the London Fashion Week she also presented her first show for the AW 09/10, again sponsored by New Generation’.

Jose M. Nunes da Silva Giralt

Jose M. Nunes da Silva Giralt was born in 1980, in his grandparent’s house, in Portugal. He studied fashion design at the IED in Madrid. During his university years he gained much experience on the Madrid fashion scene. For almost two years he worked for Sybilla, was part of the Sybilla-Japan team, worked on the Sybilla-Spain design collections, the Jocomomola young collection and organized the Sybilla shows at the Madrid Fashion Week “Pasarela Cibeles”. He presented his work “My Own Show” at the European Design Institute fashion competition, and was awarded special mention. Later he realized his own personal project: creating a personal brand, a company. He chose Madrid (in C/Covarrubias n. 9, facing C / José Marañón) for his atelier, where he currently lives and works.

Osman Yousefzada
Born in England, Osman Yousefzada begain making clothes as a child. He studied Fashion Design at the Central St. Martin’s school. In September 2005 he launched his line in apparel. In 2007 he was nominated for the annual Designs of Year prize organized by the Design Museum. 2008 was the year one of his most successful collaboration projects was launched: the ciritcaly acclaimed Little Black Dress signed Osman Yousefzada for Mango. High Fashion became aware of him in 2009: Didier Ludot presented the creations of Osman Yousefzada in the windows of the Parisian boutique Palais Royal.
MILANOeFINANZA (26 June 2009)
L'ESPRESSO (6 August 2009)
VOGUE (September 2009)
ECOdiBIELLA (3 September 2009)
ARTE MONDADORI (September 2009)
ILGIORNALE.IT (September 2009)
LA STAMPA (21 September 2009)
LA STAMPA (19 September 2009)
NEW YORK TIMES (25 September 2009)
DER STANDARD (21 September 2009)
Cittadellarte Fashion Staff 2009:

project manager: Federica Ricci

organization project officer: Pier Giuseppe Lavarino

cultural program and collateral events officer: Sara Conforti

fashion designers referent: Pietra Pistoletto (

communication: Vittorio Falletti

press office: Margherita Cugini

organization project assistants: Anna Antonioli, Serena Schellino

editor in chief: Federica Cerutti
graphic design: Liudmila Ogryzko
enrico amici_studio fotografico_la spezia