The ITS Arcademy opens with an exhibition that reveals the most interesting projects (including footwear) from 20 years of the international contest

[On the cover: Carolin Holzhuber – ph. Massimo Gardone ]

The first museum of contemporary fashion is born, inaugurated on the 4th of May in Trieste: the ITS Arcademy – Museum of Art in Fashion is the result of 20 years of the contest created by Barbara Franchin, president, and artistic director of the ITS Foundation. The museum is an exhibition space of international scope, a place for exchange, experimentation, education, and training at the intersection of fashion, art, and culture. It will host international exhibitions, the first of which is curated by the authoritative fashion historian Olivier Saillard, long-time director of the Paris fashion museum. From the 18th of April to February 2024, in fact, it is possible to visit the inaugural exhibition “The First Exhibition – 20 Years of Contemporary Fashion Evolution”, which enjoys the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and traces the evolution of contemporary creativity. Almost one hundred works are on display, chosen by the curator from the ITS Arcademy collection and organised into six sections, each of which represents a universal theme or artistic current: Expressionists, Neo Futurists, Lyrical Abstractions, Art Brut, Free Figurations, and Self-Portraits. Visitors will be able to admire some examples of the first creations by names that have now entered the history of contemporary design, such as Demna (creative director of Balenciaga), Matthieu Blazy (creative director of Bottega Veneta), Justin Smith (prolific English hat maker: he made the famous Angelina Jolie hat for Maleficent and that of Carrie Fisher in Star Wars – Episode VIII), Thomasine Barnekow (Swedish glove maker who works for celebs), Richard Quinn (the first designer to receive the design award established by Queen Elizabeth II in 2018), and Japan’s Maiko Takeda (whose headdress on display appears on the cover of Icelandic singer Bjork’s ‘Vulnicura’ album).

Among the selected footwear designers are the projects of: Heather Blake, British who participated in ITS 2006, has worked for Salvatore Ferragamo and Cerrapini and has her own brand EVA; Carolin Holzhuber, Austrian and selected for ITS 2014, who now has her own eponymous brand; Chau Har Lee, British present at ITS 2009, who has worked with Nike, Camper, Bally, Oscar De La Renta, Balmain; Helen Kirkum, British and selected for ITS 2016, has created her own line and collaborated with Adidas Originals, Reebok, Melissa, Lacoste, Timberland, and Nike; Cat Potter, British and present at the ITS 2013 contest. The ITS Arcademy can also count on a catalogue of over 15,000 objects, including clothes, accessories, jewellery, creative projects and photographic works, an evolving archive and mirror of creativity that is in constant ferment, that straddles history and the future.