It took a few years (four to be exact) and numerous dinners and papers before a small, vibrant group of women and just three men, with chairs in leading Italian universities from Trento to Bari, finally decided to lend scientific authority to fashion. "Fashion is important in Italy, but less-so than Fiat," declares Maria Luisa Frisa, president of the newly-formed Associazione Italiana degli Studi di Moda - Misa (Italian Association for Fashion Studies), baptized in Venice in the charming warehouses of the port, now classrooms at IUAV University. "Fashion has a significant impact on the tastes and behavior of individuals, but it remains within the sphere of style. Fashion produces culture, but it is only rarely found in museums and galleries. In Italy, fashion needs to find a place where it can be reflected on and presented outside of the normal circuits currently affected by a crisis in a system that remains entrenched in the 1980s."
The important thing is not to keep academic observations, with all the disciplinary aspects they entail, isolated in an ivory tower and out of touch with the urgent needs of this sector so strategic to economic, cultural and diplomatic policies. Because diplomacy is also a question of culture. Something the French know well?"less-so Italians.