The Italy of Santo Versace

by Friday, May 28, 2010

Never heard of Altagamma? If you are not involved in the industry, Maybe not. And then you present us, because in the future it will feel much talk. Altagamma is a foundation that aims to promote and defend the Italian culture and its excellence. To be part of it are little more than 60 companies (see below) representative of the local lifestyle part from around the world: fashion, Accessories, jewelry, cars, furniture, Hotels and high-end food, Note, status symbols that do not express a luxury end in itself, but are the result of a quest for quality in every area, that translates to about use of these goods and services in a "treat me well", a claim for themselves the best. The Foundation's objective? Spread in Italy and abroad that positive image of Italy and all its beauty, claim in Altagamma, lately it is somewhat deteriorated. In Short, the beautiful country is not just pizza, Mafia and trash on the streets of Naples, but it is especially the heir of felliniana "dolce vita", the story that is breathed in every glimpse, the tradition of unique and inimitable hospitality and a beloved worldwide, creativity, the ingenuity and innovative thrust typical of our people which underlie the success of companies who win in world markets with high symbolic content products. Not an easy task, In short, What has given the Altagamma Foundation, Today chaired by Santo Versace, assisted by
an Executive Committee composed by Andrea Illy and Paolo Zegna (Vice-Presidents), Antonio Cacace in the Capri Palace hotel sector representative, Maria Christina Buccellati jewelry, Roberto Gavazzi of Boffi design, Laudomia Pucci and Giuseppe Prezioso of Max Mara fashion, Matteo Lunelli Ferrari cellars for wine and food industry.

Versace, By altagamma Association became, in October last year, in Foundation. How Come?

We wanted to set ourselves above party, working for social development. Our goal today is the common good, is put at the disposal of the country and institutions to promote the made in Italy. In that regard,, for example, I recently wrote a letter to the President of the Republic in which, in a nutshell, make available the Altagamma Foundation in order to enhance and promote root crafts handicrafts, fundamental to the survival of our industries and the competitiveness of the country.

Then great importance to crafts, but also agrifood, they want to increase the number of companies in the Foundation.

The agricultural sector is crucial for the made in Italy, so is the hospitality sector, strongly desired in Altagamma from my predecessor, Leonardo Ferragamo. We are now working on a project, led by Andrea Illy, extremely important and aimed at the general public.

What's this about?

It is a "system of excellence" for the promotion of products of Altagamma and our lifestyle, that takes the form of a multifunctional place: a place that both bars, pastry, Lounge, restaurant and shop, where the consumer can live the sophisticated experience of contemporary italian life style. A sort of "bottega" of taste and Italian style always in turmoil and, especially, a point of representation and representation for the high range of the made in Italy.

In Short, a place where you can experience a 360 degrees?

Definitely, because this container, where food and beverage are the trait d'union between the design, fashion and Italian style, It will be a friendly place where the customer will be public and at the same time, the protagonist of the experience, with a good deal of the spectacularization, both the exposure of products and food consumption.

Do you open one or more of these, and in Italy or abroad?

He is currently in the definition phase, but let's say the idea is to be present both in our country and in other foreign countries.

In addition to this project, What are your goals?

Communicating properly Italy, promote the high-end Italian industry and culture that underpins, the values of our company, the quality, innovation. To do this, We are committed in institutional relations in Italy and Europe (There is the possibility to set up the European creative industry roundtable, whose mission would be to recognize the European institutions the importance of top-of-the-line industry in Europe and to direct policy development at least in order not to damage this industry), in studies and research, in promotion of training (in collaboration with Sda Bocconi and other important), in the diffusion of an enterprise culture, but also in the creation of business opportunities for Italian companies, through high-profile events and projects such as Stil Novo, commissionatoci by Confindustria, which aims to find a new distribution formula to be presented to foreign distributors and retailers.

But the high-end products can also have affordable prices?

Certain, just think of the pret a porter. But it is a trend that is spreading in all other areas, as the hotel industry or wine. More than affordable prices, I wouldn't call an appropriate price/quality ratio, correct. Beware that it is not true that people have stopped spending, rather there was a cultural revolution in consumption: people are simply more careful about how they spend, Read more.


Any fashion you want

The Italian fashion industry is represented in Altagamma, with over twenty historical and companies at the forefront: Aeffe, Agnona, Bottega Veneta, Brioni, Brunello Cucinelli, Emilio Pucci, ETRO, Fendi, Gianfranco Ferrè, Gucci, La Perla, Loro Piana, Max Mara, Missions, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sportswear Company, Tod's, Valentino, Versace and Ermenegildo Zegna.

Design, home and sport

Are 16 companies that are part of the Foundation and represent this sector. They range from household accessories signed by Alessi and Artemide lamps at Danish, FLOS and Fontana Arte, by B furniture&B Italy, Boffi, Cappellini, Cassina, Driade, Flou, Poltrona Frau, Kartell, Zanotta at Bisazza mosaics, until the art glass by Venini. These companies will add three important realities, related to home and sport: the refined Rubelli fabrics, Frette and its home decor and Technogym, with its fitness equipment.

Jewelry and accessories of author

The art of Italian jewellery is represented in four historical Altagamma maison: Bulgari, Gianmaria Buccellati, Pomellato and Vhernier. As for the accessories, become part of the Foundation there is even Persol, leader in the eyewear sector.

Speed and style

The courts of Italy most loved, admired and desired is you, Ferrari. Only representatives of the Italian car industry in Altagamma, holding high the honor with its unique and historical production, that led to raising awareness of the "cavallino" in every corner of the world and beat the hearts of fans with his stable of Formula1.

The art of hospitality

The Italy is a nation of Saints, poets and even hoteliers: Welcome in our country is a fundamental art for the made in Italy, because it represents the first "contact" with the tourist. Altagamma's part places come into the myth of the Italian hotel trade, as the Capri Palace Hotel in Capri, Bauer Hotel in Venice, the Hotel De Russie in Rome, the Florentine Hotel Lungarno, the Hotel Sirenuse in Positano, the stunning Hotel Portofino, the Masseria San Domenico pugliese and Villa d'Este, on Lake Como.

Agribusiness mon amour

Are eight businesses in Altagamma, but the number is expected to grow. Starting from maison Queens of the bubbles, as Bellavista, CA ' del Bosco and Ferrari F.lli Lunelli, to go through the noble wines of Biondi Santi, the precious Illy coffee, the Patisserie of Baratti&Milan and Caffarel and bubbles, but this time non-alcoholic drinks, Sanpellegrino water.


How do you improve the image of Italy, that many times there is despair for his failure to act in the world with its best features? A question like this part “Beautiful and can. Memorandum on Italy to talk ", book published by Skira (16 euro) where the in-depth study that the Altagamma Foundation commissioned a dozen representatives of various worlds representative of excellence in the country (Paolo Anselmi, Stefano Boeri, Giampaolo Fabris, Italo Lupi, Paolo Project, Davide Rampello, Severino Salvemini, Giorgio van Straten, Marco Vitale) coordinated by Andrea Kerbaker. ' The study explains Versace – It gave rise to a set of internal rules and resulted in particular in the initiative for the protection and promotion of the "Art Crafts"».

(This article appeared on Vie del Gusto di magio 2010)


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