First Italian High Fashion Show

Fashion show

Provini fotografici della prima sfilata della moda italiana in Casa Giorgini, Firenze 12 gennaio 1951 (AS Firenze, Archivio Giorgini, album 2, doc 96F)

February 12th/14th 1951



Giovanni Battista Giorgini


In 1951, Giovanni Battista Giorgini played a fundamental role in the diffusion of Italian production in the world, earning the definition of "Christopher Columbus who discovered America for Italian tailors "1: the First Italian High Fashion Show. The event, whose purpose was to promote Italian fashion to foreign buyers, opened on February 12, 1951 with a three-day event divided into categories that would be the launching pad for Italian boutiques: models, bargaining and runway shows of High Fashion houses.

Giorgini skillfully succeeds in sensing the economic potential of Italian craftsmanship on international markets, with particular attention to the U.S. scene, thanks to research and international export activities that have won the trust of major U.S. distributors.

Thirteen Italian fashion houses present their models, nine for haute couture and four for boutiques, making couturiers such as Simonetta Visconti, Emilio Pucci, the Fontana sisters, Irene Galitzine protagonists of the Italian scene who enhance the elegance of fabrics through sartorial skills.

Subsequently moved to the Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti, the success of the event is given by the presence of the most important buyers and correspondents of American magazines, including Carmel Snow and Elisa Massai, who witness the event overseas.

Vogue US becomes the spokesperson for the success of the Italian collections in America: in the article "Report on the Italian collections", the author William Klein reports on the Italian design that makes its way into the United States thanks to the Giorgini fashion show.

In 1951 Life becomes a witness to the arrival of Italian collections in the United States: the article "Italy gets dressed up" focuses on the buyers attracted by the Florentine exhibition that will allow the affirmation of Italian fashion in foreign markets.

Giorgini's proposal offered the occasion for the opening of the Italian panorama to wider horizons, reaching the Japanese market and making Italian fashion houses stand out in the sector that for years had been the domain of French maisons.

Related Vectors

Giovanni Battista Giorgini


Elisa Massai


"From the Italian Collections, Casual clothes"

Vogue US. 1951, September 1

Simonetta Visconti

Fashion Designer

Emilio Pucci

Fashion Designer

Walter Albini

Fashion Designer

Irene Galitzine

Fashion Designer

Elsa Schiaparelli

Fashion Designer

Sorelle Fontana

Fashion Designer

Carmel Snow



Simona Segre Reinach, 2013, Italian Fashion: The metamorphosis of a cultural industry

Valeria Pinchera, Diego Rinallo, 2017,  “The emergence of Italy as a fashion country: Nation branding and collective meaning creation at Florence’s fashion shows (1951 - 1965)

Author Alessandra Spagnoli