For the very first time the “Bags&Shoes Award” is presented at MICAM.

by Flavia Colli Franzone

[On cover: Sofia Scarponi’s catwalk]

Tommaso Cancellara, CEO of Micam while rewarding Sofia Scarponi, winner of Bags&Shoes Award

This year, for the very first time, the International Lab of Mittelmoda – The Fashion Award 2019, was held at MICAM. The edition featured the Bags&Shoes Award, won by one of the 24 finalists selected by a panel of sector experts presided by Matteo Marzotto.
The accessory prize was awarded to the Italian Sofia Scarponi from the Accademia di Costume e Moda (Academy of Costume and Fashion) in Rome. The traditional main sponsors,
Fondazione Industrie Cotone e Lino (Trade Association of Italy’s Cotton and Linen Industries), Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (National Chamber for Italian Fashion) and Lectra, have returned. Meanwhile Confindustria Moda (Italian Textile, Fashion and Accessories Federation) is a new partner, bringing fashion design students, as well as the other professionals working in the world of fashion, like accessories, into the spotlight.

The President of the International Lab of Mittelmoda, Matteo Marzotto spoke to Italianshoes about the topic..

Matteo Marzotto, president of International Lab of Mittelmoda

How did accessories come to be included among the prizes? 

What’s wonderful about a container like International Lab is that the goal can be shaped to fit the size of the prize. The prize can be broken down into the many categories comprising the fashion sector. I’ve been saying for a long time now that fashion is made up of lots of different “know-hows”, comprising a long production chain which involves many products, and not only clothing. 

So the accessory prize will become a constant feature for Mittelmoda?

Since signing a partnership agreement with Confindustria Moda, which represents all players in the sector and the long production chain, the accessory prize will henceforth be a stable point of reference for originality and know-how across a variety of product categories. The prizes awarded by the panel, and I make this very clear to the judges, must not be based on creativity pure and simple. The role of designer today comprises knowledge about the complex production chain and the cost of each phase of production, from the prototype to the final product. Even the greatest names today have become product-focused designers who can no longer indulge their creative whims. 

What was the level of the accessory projects you received?

We are starting to see young designers with a particular sensitivity for accessories, like shoes, bags and jewellery, which they express through interesting projects. The preparation was clear, as well as their great passion. The finalists were from 12 nations, including a number of very talented Italians. This means that our schools are educating well, and also providing the technical skills which are indispensable nowadays. 

Are the winners given industry internships? 

In the past, some of the young designers did industry internships. As this prize is seen as a recognition from the fashion sector, we hope that the winner will gain experience in a company.

You have always championed Made in Italy. 

I stopped talking about Made in Italy, which was often misunderstood, in favour of “well done in Italy”, which better represents Italian manufacturing as a synthesis of hands, heart and brain. This is what young people need to understand to work in fashion.