L’Officiel is a fashion magazine founded in France in 1921. Today it is a worldwide publication with more than thirty international editions. Queen of Europe is the title of the first issue of the Italian edition: a title chosen to convey challenge, alert, encouragement – or simply ironic – it could be or not, Italy, the queen of Europe. Surely it is not, for many reasons, most of them obvious – but we must remember that the greatest queens in history revealed what they really were when they rose from the dark, when they lifted their faces, stood up again, as defendants.
Sobriety – it is the age of sobriety. Sobriety is the sternness we need to achieve perfection. We need curiosity and ambition, healthy virtues, to produce sobriety.
We need to give up our holidays. Italy cannot afford long weekends every month and frequent festivities during the year – not any more. Italy cannot afford to be shut down in August. We need to give up our intellectual snobbery – in other words, we need to give up our provincialism.
Wherever we find merit, there’ll always be guilt. Ignorance is guilt. If you are not wondering about what 1789 meant, why it changed the world – this is your own guilt. If you can’t understand that reading, watching, listening all mean using yourself in doing the world a service, this is your own guilt.
L’Officiel Italia will talk about fashion. It will not be a magazine about lifestyle or photography. Fashion is the epitome of the textile industry – the second asset for the Italian economy. In Italy, fashion gives employment to millions of people, but more than this: fashion is the best image that our country is presenting to the world. Italian fashion speaks an international language – and this does not happen with our literary production, our poor pop music, our promising cinema, or our infamous TV entertainment.
Most of the major fashion companies in the world are manufacturing their goods in Italy – it’s called made in Italy, and it’s quite celebrated. We, the Italian people, should be deeply confident about this leadership: we could rebuild our pride on this.
Proud. We are, and we will be, proud: of these Italian companies so powerful in terms of industry and branding – Armani, Prada, Dolce e Gabbana, Missoni – just a few among many. Above all – we are, and we will always be, hugely grateful to those men and women who founded and invented these companies.