Italy’s fashion industry is renowned around the world, an icon of this great country and a lasting symbol of its unique style and panache.
But now Italian fashion is stepping in to save some of Italy’s most prized possessions of a different kind. In a remarkable emerging trend, heritage sites, buildings and monuments that draw tourists from all over the world, are being supported and restored by fashion brands. As economic troubles have turned Italy’s attention to other more pressing internal concerns, its budget for the maintenance and restoration of iconic tourist attractions has been slashed.
Private donors are now largely responsible for looking after the very buildings, monuments and sites that draw people on holidays to Italy from all over the world, year after year. And the list of donors throws up some intriguing names.
Apparel brand Diesel is listed amongst the most prominent donors, recently agreeing to pledge €5 million for the restoration of one of Venice’s most famous sites – the Rialto Bridge. Tod, a brand specialising in luxury leather goods, donated a massive €25 million towards restoring Rome’s Colosseum.
Most recently, luxury handbag brand Fendi has coughed-up €2.5 million towards the restoration of another of Rome’s most iconic sites, the Trevi Fountain.
Of course, all of this generosity is not without its perks for the brands themselves. Diesel reportedly struck a deal to place advertising hoardings on the Rialto Bridge as part of its restoration agreement, while Fendi will advertise on the Trevi Fountain during its renovation work.
However, many tourists who flock to view these magnificent sites may consider such compromise a small price to pay for the continued upkeep of the places that help to make Italy such a wondrous place, and a first-class tourist destination.
Image sources: 1 2 3