by John Russel Jones

In October 2022, Istituto Secoli — a Milanese fashion school founded in 1934 — started an innovative and unique training hub in Novara, Italy (west of Milan), dedicated to teaching garment prototyping. The new facility, created in partnership with brands Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Herno, IN.CO, Versace and Zamasport, aims to train a new generation of professionals and spread the unique culture and craftsmanship of made in Italy fashion.

Canali (also founded in 1934) has now joined the initiative, sharing its unique know-how in men’s tailoring and supporting the training project. Canali is not only helping to finance the program, but also in lending the expertise of its internal team, unique in that it will be the only brand with a sartorial focus. Canali will also offer student internships at its Sovico-based headquarters once the course is complete.

The creation of a Canali sartorial garment is like the performance of a symphony; it comes from perfectly orchestrated teamwork in all its parts, and it is the people who make the difference. The company has always been committed to investing in research, development and training, an act of responsibility to those who make up the beating heart of the brand. Today it does so with one of the most prestigious schools that trains modern fashion artisans.

“We welcome one of the most prestigious brands in men’s fashion that will enrich the ‘prototyping’ course with unique skills and experience,” says Istituto Secoli President Matteo Secoli. “For the Institute, ‘making fashion’ is much more than a manual art: it is thought, creative idea and technique then transformed into a project. It is our passion, our culture, and the goal we have when we teach fashion. We have acquired the deepest knowledge and methodologies of Made in Italy and we pass them on to students of dozens of different nationalities, with an educational approach aimed at the evolving fashion professions. This is the mission with which we also established the Novara branch, and it is a source of great pride for us to see the most prestigious brands in the industry embrace our project with such commitment.

“Since the first edition, the Fashion Product Prototyping course has shown strong appeal to young people. This is a disruptive message that, together with our partners, we give to the fashion system: Made in Italy is rooted in manufacturing excellence and product expertise, and by building virtuous and collaborative training and job placement paths, working together on the enhancement of professional figures linked to savoir-faire, we can build the elements to make all those professions that the sector so badly needs extremely attractive to new generations.”

Stefano Canali, president and CEO of Canali.

“The excellence of Made in Italy comes from the most authentic craftsmanship that is created from a continuous overlapping of processes, sometimes slow, sometimes complex, that require rare skills,” says Stefano Canali, president and CEO of Canali. “At a time in history when it is so difficult to find such skills, it is our duty to strive to train and support the new generations, protecting the art of savoir-faire. The care with which Italian tailored garments are cut and made requires time and skilled hands, which is why we are joining with Istituto Secoli and other luxury brands to safeguard a profession that is at the heart of our way of creating and that makes Italian fashion an excellence recognized worldwide.”

The first Fashion Product Prototyping course, inaugurated last October is ending this month with final exams. Students will appear before the commission with a prototype made for each of the project partner companies. In September internships will be activated for all participants within the partner brands.

The second edition of the course starts again in October, and will see the opening of a new tailoring workshop to allow for a doubling of the number of places available and an educational plan further enriched by the entry among Canali’s partners: quality, tailoring, unique skills and additional internship opportunities available to participants. With the entry of Canali, the possibility of accessing the numerous scholarships made available by the partner brands is also extended to students from the province of Monza and Brianza.


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