Florence: The Original Fashion Capital – Alayna Sims

When you think of fashion, everyone loves to shout out Paris, New York, or even Milan. In all of my years studying fashion, from designing to modeling, those were the names that were written about the most. So, you could imagine my surprise when I was informed that the fashion industry actually has roots planted here in Florence. While we sat in one of the lectures given by Enrica Guidato here at Santa Reparata, I was exposed to so much about the Italian influence of the fashion industry, that it is impossible for me to believe anything else. My favorite part of the lecture was finding out that Coco Chanel was apart of the invention of capri pants! This lecture had taught me to view the industry that I loved more globally rather than locally. I took over two pages of notes, and I feel that this lecture sparked my curiosity to study fashion with more of a global focus now.

Another event that blew my mind was getting to see the costume gallery at the Pitti Palace. Getting to see how fashion has evolved throughout history had made me feel as if I was actually in those time periods!

I thought I had loved fashion before, but being in Florence has given me so much inspiration, that I can’t wait to get back to the states to sketch and design so many new looks! What’s even better than the haute couture is how fashionable the Florentine public is.

Everywhere I turned there was some woman dressed in Miu Miu or some man with a Valentino 3-piece suit with a Louis Vuitton duffel bag. It’s as if all of these people can get designer clothing at dollar store prices! By just people watching, I learned that the Italian people take pride in their appearance just as much as they do…well everything else! You can tell that the Florentines know where they live, and they strut down the streets of Florence with purpose and style, as if the town is their runway. If there is anything I learned about being in Florence, it is that the people wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear them.

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