Interview with Riccardo Vannetti


by Stefano Guerrini

From January 2016 Pitti Immagine has decided to invest even more in its role as a promoter of talents in today’s fashion world, creating a team dedicated to providing help and support to designers in their business and professional careers. 

PITTI TUTORSHIP supports designers in many aspects of brand development, seeking production and distribution partners and collaborations with important fashion names, as well as offering advice on commercial and marketing activities and communication skills.

As part of our investigation into the sudden and abrupt changes that are taking place in many fashion houses at the moment, with farewells from many creative directors, which have prompted us to ask the opinions of some famous names in the world of Italian fashion publishing, we thought it would be interesting to interview Riccardo Vannetti, director of the PITTI TUTORSHIP project. 

The fashion industry has been shaken up a lot lately due to a series of continuous changes that it has had to face. We’re talking about a turnover that we haven’t seen in ages with so many big names leaving their position as creative director at famous fashion houses. What do you think has caused this particular moment? And what will it mean for the industry in both its positive and negative sense?
We’re experiencing a real generation turnover as we speak. The different creative directors saying their goodbyes, whether this was voluntary or involuntary, have been the first signs of the change we’re currently going through. It all started with Frida Giannini who left about one and a half years ago. Let me make the following comparison to give you a more tangible idea of what is happening: these are the first tremors shaking the ground beneath our feet foreboding a possible upheaval.

Change is undoubtedly on its way: shows are being combined, showcased items are being sold right away and big fashion houses are put in the hands of people that aren’t really suitable for the job. It is however key to use this moment to our benefit by rethinking the expressive language of fashion, strengthening its DNA and protecting its masterpieces. This has to be the duty of every professional in this industry: from the designers (first and foremost) to all the other workers in the fashion field. This “evolution” can’t and shouldn’t fail to take into consideration what has been created up until today. It should consider the value of specific processes that allow each department the right time to guarantee a high quality result, whether we’re talking about the design, production or the initial idea developing stages.  

Considering you’re in charge of the Tutorship Division within Pitti Immagine, what do you think a young designer needs today in order to stand out (quality wise, etc.)?
Wanting to share who you really are is fundamental. You need to be willing to send out a coherent and substantial message.
You need to be able to channel all your experiences into collections that have the ability to let the design speak for itself and therefore provide a sense of identity and affinity. At the same time, it has to satisfy the practical needs that come with actually wearing the item. 
What do you think the fashion world needs instead? What’s missing in the fashion industry now?
I don’t believe a lot is missing: the fashion world has always been an environment that has welcomed and dealt with massive changes. It’s true that we’re playing a very different game nowadays, but the players are different as well. So maybe the thing that the industry needs most right now is a better self-defense mechanism. The fashion industry has to stand up for itself and its future legacy in order to avoid a possible and potential extinction (as has happened often in the past, I wish to repeat). Everybody needs to be willing to keep the designers and their ideas at the core of it all. It’s them who are able to “feed” us with their design-skills and, at the end of the process with their clothes. 

PH. Niccolò Cambi / Agenzia Massimo Sestini