MILAN — Niccolò Pasqualetti, Marcello Pipitone and Setchu are the recipients of the 2023 grants bestowed by the Camera Moda Fashion Trust, the nonprofit organization established in 2017 to support young Italian or Italy-based talents in developing their businesses with financial aid, as well as business mentoring programs and tutoring.
Revealed during a gala dinner in the city on Thursday night, the winners were selected by a committee co-headed by Chiara Ferragni and Elia Maramotti, brand director and member of the Max Mara fashion group sustainability committee.
Selected among 76 applicants, the 10 finalists were Cavia, Federico Cina, Florania, Francesco Murano, Marcello Pipitone, Marco Rambaldi, Niccolò Pasqualetti, Saman Loira, Setchu and Ssheena. Some of them have been regularly showcasing their collections as part of Milan or Paris Fashion Week.
Ferragni and Maramotti both praised the work done by the Fashion Trust in helping young talents achieve their dreams and contributing to shape the new-gen Made in Italy fashion.
The three winning brands will receive 40,000 euros each in funding, as well as a business mentoring and one-to-one tutoring starting from June.
An alum of The Row, Loewe and Alighieri, designer Niccolò Pasqualetti’s androgynous designs are supported by a sustainable and artisanal approach, which had already netted them a spot in last year’s LVMH Prize semifinals and the attention of retailers like Ssense, Machine-A, The Broken Arm and Dover Street Market Ginza.
Marcello Pipitone, a IED graduate, has always imbued his upbringing and personal story in the namesake brand he founded in 2020. Filled with streetwear and sportswear inflections, he celebrates Milan’s suburbia. A finalist of the 2021 edition of the “Who Is On Next?” talent search, he has charted a sustainable journey, oftentimes handling manufacturing himself and increasingly embedding upcycled fabrics.
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Setchu’s Satoshi Kuwata is now based in Italy after studying at London’s Central Saint Martins and working for Huntsman in Savile Row. A Gareth Pugh, Givenchy, Edun and Golden Goose alum, he introduced his unisex label in 2020. The brand name Setchu represents the fusion of Japanese and Western concepts, with items like foldable jackets in origami-like constructions.
A fourth recipient, Florania, will receive an amount of 15,000 euros pledged by Max&Co. under the “Design for Change” moniker. Flora Rabitti, the creative director of the brand, will also have a chance to collaborate with the contemporary brand part of the Max Mara Fashion Group on a special project.
The genderless and seasonless brand was founded in 2021 by Rabitti, a designer and illustrator from Mantua, Italy. Directly linked to post-punk subcultures, Florania embeds a DIY, sustainable and handmade approach using upcycled and recycled fabrics and materials.
Max&Co. is a supporting partner of the trust, joined by the Fidenza Village outlet shopping center and its parent company The Bicester Collection. The latter will mentor a group of finalists in developing their business and invite them to sell their collections inside The Creative Spot, a pop-up space at the outlet to open in 2024.
This year’s jury panel included Manuela Brini, director of creative talent acquisition and development at the LVMH Fashion Group; Francesco Ragazzi, founder and creative director of Palm Angels; Carlo Capasa, chairman of Italy’s Camera Nationale and a trustee of the talent support organization; Stavros Karelis, founder and buying director of hip retailer Machine-A; Stefano Martinetto, cofounder and chief executive officer of London-based Tomorrow Group, as well as Michelle Francine Ngonmo, founder and CEO of the Afro Fashion Association and the Black Carpet Awards, among others.
Established in 2017 but officially kicking off full-fledged activities in 2019, the trust previously bestowed its grants on Act N.1, Coliac and Blazé, Vitelli and Cormio. The organization relies on private donors as well as Italian brands contributing with yearly donations.