A JOURNEY TO REDISCOVER THE PAST - PART 2
On some shelves in the archives there are punched cards for Jacquard, small boxes of ink, pins, threads, clips, brushes, spools and hooks for strips. There are also drafts, sample books and some blocks of wood engraved for block printing, one of the most ancient printing techniques.
There seems to be a thread connecting every element of this story. You can see objects from different periods of time, tools from 1850s, books from 1870s, from Belle Époque to nowadays.
Coming out from a box, you can see a silk tie with classic floral design. The label says: Fumagalli 1891 – Made in Italy.
If you open a dusty trunk, you can find a treasure: hundreds of samples, that Fumagalli salesmen show to the buyers. There’s also a suitcase next to it, where salesmen put all of the fabric samples, when they travelled. They brought around 60 suitcases on a van. In two or three days, buyers could see all the collection pieces and make their choice. Almost as in a special ritual, they could choose amongst ties, dressing gowns, scarves and pocket squares. They usually bought a dozen of every colour, not single units. The average order was from 1000 to 3000 ties. All those suitcases are stacked today at the entrance of Fumagalli offices. Delli Fiori still travels with them to bring Fumagalli collections around the world.
Next to a big window overlooking via Carso, there are piled folders and boxes of product sheets with all the details about prints, fabrics and orders placed by buyers. In 130 years Fumagalli customers changed from the middle-class men from Milan at the end of the XIX century to the cosmopolitan gentlemen today.
About a collection of 1961
Fumagalli archives also keep sample books of the past collections. If you opened one from 1961, it would bring you back to one day of that period. Milan was busy and abuzz, as usual. An Alfa Romeo Giulietta would be parked outside a boutique and a well-dressed man would come out of the car. He would look just like men on the “Club” magazine covers in the 60s. He could go inside the shop to buy a Fumagalli tie. Most probably he would choose a classic silk tie, similar to the one worn by Marcello Mastroianni in Fellini’s movie “La dolce Vita”. Also he would get a Gold Twill “foularino” for his lover...
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