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In conversation with Francesca Buratti – Fashion Archive Former Student

Graduated in Sciences of Cultural Heritage with a thesis in Librarianship in Milan, Francesca Buratti has attended our course in Introduction to Fashion Archive, coordinated by Grazia Venneri and in collaboration with the Ferré Foundation. Thanks to her curriculum and through the Careers & Placement service of Accademia Costume & Moda, she has recently begun a collaboration in the Archives of the Ferragamo Foundation in Florence.

Francesca, why the archive plays such a relevant role in fashion?

There is a fundamental difference between a product warehouse and a usable and well-organized archive, even if on the surface they may seem quite similar: the meaning attributed to them comes from within.

Starting from the role of the Heritage Manager, it is possible to understand why today, through the archive, a new sensitivity comes to life. It must be a reference for the whole company and give awareness of the importance of the same as guardian of the brand values, and true center propeller for the creative. Obviously, all of this cannot be separated from the rigorous daily work of inventory, cataloging, study and research to best return the language of fashion that we want to carry out and show to the public. Fortunately, by discussing with my classmates from the Introduction to Fashion Archive course and comparing some of the realities of fashion, we were able to see how much the archive has recently been considered and valued by an increasing number of brands and companies.

What are you doing at the moment and how what been your study path?

After the scientific diploma I graduated in Sciences of Cultural Heritage at the Università Statale in Milan with a thesis in Librarianship. During this study path and also thanks to an internship in the archive of a textile company the passion for archiving finally came and led me to specialize in this new figure of the Fashion Heritage Manager.

I am currently working in the Archive of the Ferragamo Foundation in Florence. Although formative, the experience is of immense value: every day I have the opportunity to deal with products and documents, sketches and photographs which represent the company’s treasure and above all a starting point for the Creations department. The daily cooperation with the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum is a great stimulus for the documentary and photographic research of the major issues that the founder and the company have pursued over time, and which are intended to be told through stories that start from the archive.

I believe the delicate task of the archivist is hidden right here: in being able to return information, an event or even just a characteristic of a product in the most objective and detailed way possible, revealing its richness, the stories it contains, the relationships and connections with the present. Even better: the archive, if well organized, is present.

How the Specialization Course in Introduction to Fashion Archive has enhanced your competences?

Introduction to fashion Archive has been fundamental in my study path: the coordinator’s approach and the way the course is developed are in my opinion the key to extrapolate from a basic program some truly practical and re-usable skills at work. The course, starting from the experiences of the teacher and the participants, passes from a classic frontal lesson to a very stimulating moment of confrontation, crossing the project that Accademia Costume & Moda has allowed us to carry out at the Ferré Foundation. It was a truly a realistic case study, with all the variables that can be found in an archive, current or historical, in which ‘textbook’ skills are important but above all the experience, which Accademia has left me. Knowing this reality from the inside and being able to develop new contents, ideas and concepts through a shared method and considerations made ‘from life’ was really significant and I was able to make it mine.

Last, but not least, the interaction with experts and professionals of the sector was a great stimulus and inspiration for the future and for the different professional paths towards which one can address.

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