(GMBA - Luxury Brand Management)

On the final day of the field trip to Italy, the ESSEC GMBA Luxury Brand Management cohort of 2023 were lucky enough to visit Antico Setificio Fiorentino, a historic and one of the last remaining workshops for silk manufacturing in the world, located in Florence, Italy

It was founded in 1786 to produce silk fabrics for the royal court and for export to other European countries. In 1950s, Marquis Emilio Pucci of Barsento took over the majority stak
e in the Antico Setificio Fiorentino and began to produce fabrics intended to furnish the most prestigious homes of Italian and International nobility, for example, The mill has supplied fabrics for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. As of today, the mill is owned by the prestigious fashion house Stefano Ricci which ensures the future and continuation of this ancient artisan tradition by catering to several Italian as well as International design houses.

Antico Setificio Fiorentino is housed in a historic building in the San Frediano district of Florence, and visitors can tour the mill to see the production process and learn about the history of silk-making in Florence. Current production includes a wide range of Renaissance silk damasks, silk and linen brocade fabrics from various periods, and eighteenth-century silk lampas, all of which are used for both modern and classic furnishings and are produced on hand and semi-mechanical looms dating back to the late 18th century. Furthermore, the slow-paced procedure of these looms allows the creation of fabrics with unparalleled resistance, touch, and coloration, and the preparation on these looms is performed without any mounting or chemical treatment, resulting in a fully healthy and undamaged thread. Finally, patterns for the exquisite fabrics handed down over the centuries by the founding families are now stored in the historical archive of Antico Setificio Fiorentino.

Antico Setificio Fiorentino's history celebrates the precious fabrics brought to life by ancient looms as much today as it did in the past, and under the direction of Elisabetta Bardelli Ricci, Antico Setificio Fiorentino has paved the way for a new business strategy that focuses primarily on female expertise to bring a touch of exclusivity and modernity all over the world.

And so upon this note, our wonderful foray into the History, Heritage and Craftmanship of Italian luxury sadly came to an end, leaving us with many priceless memories and once in a lifetime experiences to always remind us of our time together and this amazing trip to Italy!

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