To say it was a great pleasure to attend yet another edition of Firenze4Ever is an immense understatement. This is, by far, one of my favorite industry events. For those not familiar, this is a grand event, put on by a singular retail concept store in Florence, Luisa via Roma.
Since the 1930s the store has been regarded as the destination in Florence for fashion seekers coveting on-trend collection pieces that evoke a strong sense of desire, lust, and, quite frankly, a certain foaming at the mouth.
Just before the Pitti tradeshow, twice per year, the store hosts their signature event, Firenze4Ever where a selection of bloggers are invited from around the world for a 3 day (though this year was 4 days) full-immersion experience in both styling and Florentine glamour.
First, the store closes to the public for the entire duration of the event. The event kicks off with a cocktail reception hosted on the store’s terrace where everyone gets to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones and finally put faces to the names behind each blog. Schedules are distributed in a frenzy, gift bags doled out selectively and prosecco poured generously. This year, we all then tramped over to Piazza della Republicca, where a pop-up exhibit had been installed. Entering a dark room, a 3-D fashion film experience started, put on by Jonathan Riss, artistic director of the Jay Ahr House, in collaboration with the FashionLab by Dassault Systèmes.
From there, we broke out into groups to head to dinner. Luckily, we got to dine with Zanita and Tuula of Fellt, Sade of the Icon Concierge, Jakob of Dandy Diary, Gunnar of Style Clicker and Sabine and Sam of Luisa via Roma at one of Florence’s best restaurants La Giostra (highly recommended, by the way).
Day 2 and 3 consisted of styling, which in essence is what the event is all about. Each blogger is provided with a hair stylist, make-up artist, photographer and model (or they can choose to model themselves). Each blogger selects freely from the store’s new merchandise to create 3 distinct looks, which are then styled and shot at any location of their choosing.
This year, we brought along Carlos Canon, our Style Editor at Fashion’s Collective, who had a blast styling looks (he’ll be unveiling the final shots in his Fashion Friday’s column later this week).
Interspersed with styling was a series of fantastic social events. For instance, we were all sent to the Madonna concert in Florence by private car (did we mention the enormous crowd of people gathered outside the store each day hoping to get a glimpse of Madonna herself? While she was never actually in the store, her stylist was…giving the crowd the misconstrued glimmer of hope they might actually spot her).
An elaborate dinner was atop the Nuovo Teatro del Maggio Fiorentino, was complete with a cocktail hour featuring live artists rendering a mural of Karl Lagerfeld, a DJ, and an artisan making mozzarella by hand (I think this is absolutely the right use of the term “artisan”). Notable people including Rosita Missoni, Guiseppe Zanotti, and Daniele Cavalli were in attendance in a proper Florentine fashion role call.
Following cocktail hour, we were lead to a table seating no less than 300 and served a beautiful (also the most appropriate word) 5 course meal. As dinner came to an end the after-party began and Neimo and DJ Misty Rabbit performed late into the night.
The next day a brunch to bid farewell, gather up anyone’s contact information you may have missed and enjoy one last day in the city of xx before either embarking for home or preparing for Pitti.
Over the next few days, we’ll cover why Firenze4Ever is a powerful business play. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, check out our Facebook page for all of the event pics.