Due to the immense commercialization that fashion has reached in recent years, we often tend to forget how it is actually a phenomenon that strictly concerns the human being, and therefore involved with all the spheres that concern him. In fact, fashion is not only an aesthetic phenomenon, but also a cultural, social and above all political one.
To be successful, a fashion house must take positions, it must take sides, it must have that component of "relatability" through which the final consumer can see himself again. This is exactly Pierpaolo Piccioli's ace in the hole, who, since he assumed the role of sole creative director, has made him his hallmark.
For the opening of the Valentino Milano advertising campaign, Pierpaolo Piccioli once again emphasizes the importance of freedom of expression and identity. For this, the photo of the campaign was entrusted to Michael Biley Gates, a trans photographer activist for the rights of the community of him. The post was inundated with criticism and insults, demonstrating, once again, how the Italian media community is very retrograde towards people other than "normal" heterosexual and cisgender.
The position taken by the creative director is strong and unequivocal, very political. He demonstrates this with a post on instgram on his personal profile of him, where he republishes the offending photo with a message of strength and solidarity towards Michael Biley Gates.
All this takes place at a time when a social and political battle is taking place in Italy: the approval of DDL Zan. This is a provision that, if approved, would establish a prison for those who commit acts of discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity or disability. In addition, the establishment of a national day against homophobia and the allocation of 4 million euros for structures operating in this area are also foreseen. The bill was blocked in the Senate after the League, but also the other forces of the center-right, Forza Italia and the Brothers of Italy, defined the measure as non-priority, thus not allowing the start of the discussion in the Justice Committee. This stalemate has led thousands of people to protest, so that the safety, respect and recognition of the rights of people belonging to the LGBTQ + community are recognized as a priority.
Pier Paolo Piccioli himself joins this movement, again through his personal instagram profile, in which he supports the approval of the Zan law in the senate.
It is not the first time that Pierpaolo Piccioli has taken clear political positions, both through fashion and not. We remember the parade inside the Europa theater, in support of actors, dancers, musicians and all those involved in the entertainment world who, due to the pandemic, found themselves without a job. Especially in Italy, where artists are always too little protected, from many points of view, forgetting that art is one of the strongest foundations of Italian culture, also recognized abroad.
We also remember when he wanted African American trans actress Dominique Jackson, star of the TV series Pose, directed by the director of the series, Janet Mock, as a testimonial.
Finally, on 4 March 2018, the day of Salvini's victory in the elections, Piccioli had his haute couture show opened by a black refugee model, with a casting of 48 black models out of 65.
In short, for Pierpaolo Piccioli, fashion is not just clothes, but also a means of communicating one's ideas and one's social and political position. These interventions are fundamental to raise public awareness and to understand how important and underestimated humanitarian issues are. A bit of a cliché, but it would take more people like him.