You will know the names Versace, Armani and D&G, but I wonder how many know of Brioni. The company has been around since 1945.
If you have never heard of this brand, fear not, for neither had I. This is not much of a surprise seeing as very few English teachers can afford suits that cost upwards of 2000 Euros. Although from what I have heard you can spend over 20000 Euros on articles of Brioni clothing.
If you had not guessed already, Brioni creates clothes for people who never ask the price. Think Richard Gere and Kofe Annan. Oh, and James Bond has worn Brioni suits.
Brioni took some of its inspiration from Saville Row, learning Saville Row techniques and improving on them. This is not too much of a surprise when you know that the classic English style of dress is greatly appreciated here.
I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that comparing yourself with others outside of your country is not always a bad thing. With the WWW and cheap telephone calls Italians are becoming more aware of what is not working in their country, only there’s not yet enough pressure to stir anyone into any real action.
Someone I know here was involved in politics, but he gave up because he considered that the existing bunch were so well entrenched and so well paid that they would fight tooth and nail against anyone who tried to take over. He is by no means alone in thinking this. This means it would be difficult to really set Italy down the road to change. Yes, there are many things that need to be altered, but not so much as to ruin all that is good here – although one could argue that what is good and what is bad come from the same origins, so by eliminating the bad, you risk damaging the good and possibly changing Italy for the worse. This would be a shame.
Then again you could use the Brioni model – take something good from abroad and make it even better – it’s worked for them.