• Alitalia Neomag

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Alberta Ferretti’s Alitalia t-shirt priced 168€

Having your company logo on a plain white t-shirt and make it overpay: a brand awareness triumph or pure madness

The occasion to discuss Alitalia brand came with the launch of the airline’s new uniforms, after those designed by Ettore Bilotta, who also caused a stir, as they were judged unwearable, with embarrassing green socks for the female staff.

Alberta Ferretti is the designer who has brought glamour back to the brand, which has been tarnished by years of business problems and which, thanks to a “commercial agreement without financial disbursement”, in exchange for the design of official uniforms, has obtained the use of the Alitalia logo for a three piece outfit (t-shirt, sweatshirt and ‘no season’ sweater) that are raging on Instagram with “influencers” of various levels and are almost sold out on the site.

After the Raimbow Week collection (sweaters with the days of the week written on, in English), the designer has created a new miracle, with a brand which had nothing glamorous to its name until this intervention.

The power of fashion? Of social media? Deriving from the modern world without values? The questions had already arisen when Balenciaga put a leather bag on sale for 1,700€, closely resembling the classic 60 cent Ikea bags. Or recently when the Vetement brand (coincidentally designed by the same Demna Gvasalia, who designs for Balenciaga) saw the t-shirt with DHL brand sold out at a price of 245€ (compared to the 6.5 of the original ones, although it is different, sold by the couriers on their site).

In reality, it is not objects as such that are for sale, materials, not even designer, more the ability of these objects to tell a story, to outline a world, to translate one word into a different language. It is the difference between clothes and fashion, between a painting and art: the ability to give a meaning, to transform the ordinary into extraordinary, something normal into something desirable, the banal made exceptional. For those who want to take a look (if you can afford it).

Valentina Monti
4/7/2018