'Restyling' Antiquity: When Tod's Restored The Colosseum

Fri, 01/11/2013 - 05:25

Michelangelo’s David, wore a Missoni zig-zag bodysuit for a three month period in the meat packing district of New York, between 9th Avenue and 14th street, from July-September 2012.

This brilliant marketing tool was a result of the artistic collaboration between Luca Missoni and Spanish artist dEmo. Missoni’s nod to the past was a nostalgic homage with a modern twist. When old school meets new school and they shake hands, making art 'work' for fashion.

Fashion and antiquity have met on many a marketing occasion. Meanwhile in Italy, Diego Della Valle, the managing director of Tod's, has donated 35 million euros to restore the Colosseum. Here, he is using fashions millions for a good cause, to help restore one of the most beautiful monuments in the world. Ok, this time the shoe is on the other foot as this is a donation from an Italian marketing mastermind for an architecturally worthy cause.

Missoni David

From cobbler to cobblestones

Work started last month. With the damage evident, 1940 years later, following an Earthquake and pollution taking its toll on the Travertine stone arena. Putting the right foot forward, the deal entitles him the rights to use the Colosseum logo as he wishes for the next 15 years, including the Tod's logo on the admission tickets to the infamous amphitheatre. Della Valle stated that it was his duty to do so, and he is saying this as a non Roman.

Della Valle has mentioned that he was concerned that other big-wigs in the fashion industry did not follow suit, and in the past has publicly attacked politics accusing Berlusconi for the over-taxing of big businesses, and his failure to support smaller Italian businesses. Tod's are contributing something back to their roots, through their footwear, and what could be more fitting, than from a cobbler to cobblestones.

By helping keep alive one of the worlds undoubtedly most beautiful and important landmarks is something which, although a good marketing tool for Tod's business, no one else had stepped up to the mark. Bringing a long awaited sense of relief to Rome, "It is the end of a nightmare," Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said.

Diego Della Valle

Della Valle discusses: "the need for a close relationship between the public and private sector, that can afford to give back funds to culture in Italy". Rome makes a beautiful backdrop but sadly 8cm of tuff has fallen off the Colosseum over the decades and it has been almost 80 years since the last major restoration was carried out at the Colosseum by dictator Benito Mussolini. Rome's superintendent for archaeological heritage, Mariarosaria Barbera, said that the restoration would make 25% more of the Colosseum accessible to visitors in the future. Della Valle urges other executives with wallets in the fashion sector to likewise provide something into the archeological moneybox with other sites in need of restoration in Rome.

"I am under the impression that if we better utilise the beauty that we have, the quality of life, and the government network we will have a better chance for development and employment," Della Valle said.

Della Valle Tod's Colosseo

Codacons tried to step in and prevent the assistance, despite UNESCO declaring that is an emergency. Murmer has it that Romans became skeptical based Della Valle’s right to use the Colosseum logo how he wishes. Della Valle has reassured the Eternal City that he is not in it for the billboard factor.

The beauty of Rome has served as a divine backdrop to many a fashion show hosted here over the years. The ancient city was host to a landmark spectacle catwalk show in honor of Valentino leading up to his retirement after 45 years. The temple of Venus lent her aesthetic generosity to Valentino’s final show entitled ‘45 Years Of Style’. This was a mere stones throw away from the Colosseum, and another temple in ruin.

As long as I don’t have to hear: “I can’t believe Michelangelo copied Missoni”, then I don’t mind.

Missoni David