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Giovanni MARANGONI

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Honorary President of our Institute and director of the patternmaking department, he is a legendary Patternmaker who inherited the Marangoni patternmaking method for cutting and tailoring women’s clothing, created by his father, Prof. Giulio Marangoni.

 

Interview with Giovanni Marangoni, the legendary Pattern-Making Director of MKS Milano Fashion School


Giovanni Marangoni, known as Gianni, son of Prof. Giulio, the founder of the eponymous fashion institute, is today the only depository of the pattern-making method for cutting and making women's clothes created by his pioneer father. He has the role of pattern-making Director as well as professor of MKS Milan Fashion School and has chosen to share with us some moments of his extraordinary and inimitable professional and personal path.


Prof. Marangoni, how did you begin your journey?
I attended the State Institute of Art in Florence, textile sector and I specialized in the clothing area. Of course, I attended my father's fashion institute courses. Conscious from the beginning that in this world the fundamental figures were and are those who create and make the project, I felt the need to have a broader vision and to extend my skills by also attending a course to become an expert textile.


How much did the family environment influence your studying and professional choices?
Undoubtedly living in an environment where creativity, methodology and didactics were strongly oriented to the specific clothing sector inspired me in a relevant way, but it also allowed me to make the most of my innate talent, the manual skills, which I had since I was a child. My father's mentoring role was also fundamental, I assisted him in the companies where he was a pattern-making consultant. And thanks to it, I built a very rich technical and relational background which, combined with my studies, allowed me to accelerate my professional growth.


You have been lucky enough to experience the birth of prêt-à-porter in Italy. Can you explain us about this period?
In the early 1960s the fashion production was not manufactured and in its place, there were tailors, fabric shops and generally women sewed for their family. At that time my father and I collaborated with the great tailor Biki, nephew of the composer Giacomo Puccini, who with Germana Marucelli and Jole Veneziani were the first names of the "Prêt-à-porter" Made In Italy. It was in that period that "Biki" opened the first Italian boutique in Via Montenapoleone, with the aim of proposing prêt-à-porter for the first time. At that time, however, the tailors did not have all the skills to offer this service on a large scale since they were used to creating models on the mannequins that reproduced the features of the individual customer and it is at that moment that my father’s pioneering study on the standardization of work phases gained importance. Together we have studied for a long time a methodology that allowed, accompanied by a rationalization of the production process, a result more in line with the new requirements.


How did your professional experience continue?

I worked extensively in many different projects and, in the 1970s, I started working with many important companies in the preparation of prototype garments and, among these, the Japanese Sanyo to which I proposed both the designed collection and the prototype garments. In 1971 I opened the Marangoni Fashion and Clothing Institute in Como, which I directed for more than thirty years and then I started doing very specialized consultations. Recently I collaborated with the Tsinghua University in Beijing considered one of the most prestigious Chinese universities, developing a master's degree in the vanguard; my added value was to bring what I call "Renaissance culture", that is the intrinsic creative, artistic and cultural quid of Italian culture which, combined with the methodology and technical capacity, allows us to form professionals of great value.

 

What guides you in your role as Pattern-Making Director and Professor of MKS Milano Fashion School?

I have taught for a long time in important institutions and for me it has always been a very pleasant experience. Transferring my experience, the deep love for this work, concretely showing how things are done, explaining how they are done by teaching a precise methodology and supporting students in creation and, more generally, in their path of progressive growth has for me the meaning of putting solid foundations for a future generation able to create new avant-garde ideas in harmony with the wonderful traditions of Italian sartorial culture.


What advice would you give to girls and boys who aspire to work in the fashion world?

Seen from the outside, this is a sparkling and perfect world, but it is essential to be aware that in addition to the fairytale image of the show, method, knowledge and a lot of demanding work are needed. But be careful, the result can give great satisfaction!


Projects, interests, dreams for the future?

Many projects, perhaps too many interests and among these my love with a childhood taste for antique toys that, over time, has allowed me to constitute an important collection with an undoubted historical value. The exhibition I set up with my last collection in chronological order was entitled "the fashion game"; a metaphorical exhibition in which starting from the vision of some articles of clothing for dolls, machines and various equipment for manufacture and passing through the method to use the equipment and realize the artefacts, together with the didactic study, it was possible to highlight the path taken by the students of MKS Milano Fashion School to achieve the results starting from the design phase. From play to work, to grow and contribute with passion, knowledge and manual skills that are too often forgotten to develop in the sector.
 


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