Milan, Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Third Paradise is the symbol of the Sustainable Awards
On 24 September, at La Scala, the artist’s trinamic symbol was once again the active backdrop of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion’s initiative, for the intrinsic values it expresses. Also, the "Sustainable Fashion Awards" actual prize was a reproduction of the "Venus of Rags", and was presented to a series of companies and brands that have distinguished themselves for their commitment to ethical fashion.

The Sustainable Fashion Awards 2023 ceremony was organised by the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, in collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) of the United Nations ITC Agency and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with the support of the Municipality of Milan. The event, held last Sunday at La Scalain the presence of over 1,300 guests, featured and awarded virtuous personalities and companies that have distinguished themselves in the Italian and international fashion world for their commitment to sustainability in its highest sense, for vision, innovation, commitment to craftsmanship, recognition of differences, circular economy, human rights and environmental justice. “The National Chamber for Italian Fashion,” said its president Carlo Capasa, “has been promoting values linked to sustainability for years, concretely committing itself to projects that encourage its practices throughout the sector. Among these are the Sustainable Fashion Awards, which, in addition to being an evening of celebration, represent the fruit of a year’s work of collaboration and research in the field. In fact, for the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, sustainability represents an important pillar and an essential element for the fashion of today and of the future”.

Above, from the left: Edward Enningful and Adut Akech; Carlo Capasa.
Below, from the left: Elodie and Pierpaolo Piccioli; Donatella Versace.

The winners, the Venus of rags and the jury
Ten were the awards presented: The Visionary Award: Edward Enninful, Adut Akech Bior presented the award to Edward Enninful; The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Award For Circular Economy: Gucci, Circular Hub’s Denim Project, Sinead Burke presented the award to Jean François Palus; The Climate Action Award: Manteco, A wool-focused sustainable economy, Samata Pattinson presented the award to Matteo and Marco Mantelassi; The Education of Excellence Award: Valentino, Nurturing talents, Elodie presented the award to Pierpaolo Piccioli and the seamstresses; The Bicester Collection Award For Emerging Designers: Ahluwalia, by Priya Ahluwalia, Chiara Ferragni and Laurent Vinay presented the award to Priya Ahluwalia; The Craft & Italian Artisanship Award: Dolce&Gabbana, Sartorial craftsmanship & Grand Tour of Italy, Bianca Balti presented the award to Alfonso Dolce; The Biodiversity & Water Award: KERING, Regenerative & Climate Fund for Nature, Julianne Moore presented the award to Marie Claire Daveu; The Human Capital & Social Impact Award: CHLOÉ, Fait Trade luxury, Kulsum Shadab Wahab presented the award to Riccardo Bellini; The Groundbreaker Award: Candiani, Coreva™, Coco Rocha presented the award to Alberto Candiani; The Humanitarian Award For Equity and Inclusivity, Margo Mengoni presented the award to Donatella Versace. For the second year running, among the 11 members of the jury that chose the winners were Michelangelo Pistoletto, Paolo Naldini (director of Cittadellarte) and Olga Pirazzi (head of Cittadellarte’s Fashion Office), and again the actual prize was a replica of the Venus of the Rags made with a 3D printer and hand-painted by the artist. The complete list of award winners and finalists – with motivations – can be found here.

Above: Marco Mengoni; Jessica Chastain.
Below: Eleonora Leenders, Maria Teresa Pisani, Armona Pistoletto, Giuliana Setari;
Olga Pirazzi, Maria Fernanda Hernández, Simona Mazzitelli, Paolo Naldini.

The Third Paradise as symbol of the event
Same as for last year’s edition, the symbol of the event was Pistoletto’s Third Paradise, which has represented the National Chamber of Italian Fashion’s commitment to sustainability since 2012, with the drafting of the Manifesto of Sustainability for Italian Fashion, on the initiative of Anna Zegna and Carlo Capasa. This choice is also in the wake of the collaboration between the National Chamber and Cittadellarte: in fact a few days before the awards, on 21 September, at Palazzo Giureconsulti in Milan, Fondazione Pistoletto and the National Chamber proposed the second act of the Fashion for Planet Open Parliament, a choral conversation on the rights of nature. The event saw the participation of a parterre of speakers from different professional backgrounds: the guests and the public, who came to offer their own contributions and reflections on the theme of sustainable fashion, alternated in a mosaic of voices that touched on and explored different aspects of the sector, including transparency and traceability, regulations and greenwashing, as well as the role of companies’ sustainability managers and buyers. The partnership between the National Chamber and Cittadellarte also confirms the shared commitment to educating to sustainable fashion, on which Cittadellarte’s Accademia Unidee is founded. The Academy offers the first three-year degree course in Europe entirely dedicated to sustainable fashion and holds its three-year degree and master’s courses in collaboration with various subjects from the textile supply chain, with global brands and with the United Nations. In fact, for the academic year 2023/24, for the second consecutive year, the National Chamber has made available four scholarships for young talents who wish to undertake an educational path in the field of art and a more ethical fashion, experimenting with techniques, tools and methodologies transversal to all disciplines and necessary to effectively face the challenges emerged in the three aspects of sustainability: social, environmental and economic.

Cover image, from the left: Laurent Vinay, Priya Ahluwalia and Chiara Ferragni; Alfonso Dolce and Bianca Balti; Julianne Moore and Marie-Claire Daveu.