Fashion Research Italy has just recently been inaugurated in Bologna, an educational, archive, exhibition and innovation centre - already a non-profit Foundation since 2015 – it was born from an idea of Alberto Masotti, creator and former President of the lingerie and beachwear brand La Perla.
The centre was opened in the historic seat of La Perla, in the Roveri area, after a re-modernizing project signed by the same designer who had created the original structure: Pierluigi Cervellati's Studio in Bologna. An ideal city for this new centre - both for its historic university tradition, started in 1088, and for its manufacturing vocation since the 1500s - which today sees 30,000 companies and over 140,000 employees involved in the sector.
Objectives of Fashion Research Italy
- Enhancing and increasing the competitiveness of the fashion industry, a key sector in our economic and production system, helping small-medium businesses in the field to face the Industry 4.0.
- Training tomorrow's fashion professionals, a new generation of managers and experts able to tackle the challenges of technological and digital transformations; interact with global markets; adopt the right tools to communicate Made in Italy worldwide.
- Being the future of the small-medium enterprises. "When talking about the future - says Alberto Masotti - it is necessary to have the starting point clear in mind, the past, providing that it is understood to be inquired, questioned and interpreted with today's eyes."
The same philosophy is also shared by PuntoArt, that, since 2013, has reorganized and structured its business archive, created thanks to the collaboration with the University of Bologna through the project “Patrimonio Culturale a Rimini e in Romagna, Archivi per il Fashion e per la Moda tra Ottocento e Novecento” (Cultural Heritage in Rimini and Romagna, Archives for Fashion, and Fashion between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries).
Today, when visiting our showroom, it is possible to study and be inspired by the proposals of trimmings, craftsmanships and finished garments, all with extensive graphic and photographic documentation.
The Foundation's Archive
To reiterate the concept that memory is and remains the foundation of technological evolution, a great heritage: 5,000 books, 30,000 drawings of textile designs on paper and fabric, thousands of fabrics and photographs. Between acquisitions and donations, the FRI archive is currently composed of:
- Renzo Brandone Fund, historic collaborator of Etro: designs on paper and fabric, artist books and test papers.
- Emmanuel Schvili Fund, the brand, born in Bologna in 1969, is renowned for the use of cartoons in the 1980s.
- Fashion Photography Archive, the first archive of advertising photos, supported by Alberta Ferretti, Jeremy Scott, Moschino, Philosophy, Pollini, Borbonese, Furla, Gaudi, Les Copains, La Perla and Woolrich.
Fashion Research Italy is the result of a 17 million euros investment.
The educational area covers an area of 2,000 square meters and has 150 multimedia stations to work with the latest technologies: increased reality, projection mapping, light, visual, interaction design.
The exhibition area extends for 3,000 square meters, the same as the green spaces surrounding the structure, and includes a multimedia walkway, created by Videoworks (see photo).
University Masters and Courses
The Centre offers three different didactic options:
1. First level Masters in Design and Technology for Fashion Communication
2. Advanced Training Course in Architecture for Fashion
3. Fall-Winter School Fashion Archives: Heritage Management
The project Punto Innovazione P.IN - conceived by M-Impression SRL, partner and founder of the Foundation - will help students connect with the business world and provide companies with new tools and professionals.
Masotti, the President of the FRI Foundation, emphasizes - all "is born from the experience of Emilia-Romagna's artisan workshops, then turned into small medium-sized enterprises of a fashion district that has become one of the main pillars of the Region's economy."