“La bellezza utile”: the secrets of the success of Made in Italy fashion worldwide

Milano Fashion&Jewels

14* - 17 September 2024
(*Saturday by invitation only)

fieramilano, Rho

Press release

“La bellezza utile”: the secrets of the success of Made in Italy fashion worldwide

A fashion product is beautiful and its aesthetic dimension affirms its usefulness: both values are closely related and constantly connected. This feature of “Made in Italy” is told in the immersive Exhibition dedicated to the photographer Heinz Schattner


Milan, 13 February 2023 - the global success of the Made in Italy Textile, Fashion and Accessories industry, which employs approximately 600,000 people in the country and produces turnover of more than €100 billion, is not coincidental, but the result of globally unique cultural heritage and know-how. This know-how combines scientific technical skills that the sector cultivates and promotes in every Italian region with the ability to imagine, perceive, create and express beauty. In order to celebrate this union and to talk about the excellent results of knowing how to make Made in Italy, Confindustria Moda, the Italian Federation which brings together 7 trade associations and represents the whole complex system of Italian manufacturing, organised the immersive Exhibition “La Bellezza Utile”, dedicated to images made in the many years of the professional career by master fashion photographer Heinz Schattner and presented at the Meet Digital Culture Center in Milan in Porta Venezia.



Fashion and Culture Industry


Imagining a dress or an accessory, making it from the right material, turning an artistic and creative intuition into a product that can be placed on the market, attracting the attention and expense of consumers: this is the extraordinary operation that characterises the sector represented by Confindustria Moda and it expresses it in terms of the convergence between creativity and technology, art and industry.


It is the extraordinary ability of Italian companies to produce Beauty that strengthens our country’s competitive identity in the world, in a narrative that is based on products that are real and useful, that tells the true stories of real companies, of people in relation to people. Of the companies/people who are the fashion industry capable of creating Beauty. Censis recorded it, in a recent study conducted for Confindustria Moda “The fashion sector: the cornerstone of the Italian economy”:


“For Italians, fashion is very much a cultural activity. It is culture because it affects people’s mental health and lifestyles, turning ingenious products into useful objects. It is a qualified and recognised star of the cultural stage of our society, which creates culture through the multiplicity of material products and intangible forms such as formats, languages, forms of expression and the content it conveys to collective communication circuits.”


A commitment by Confindustria Moda that dates back to the moment of its inception and is destined to remain over time. A commitment declared and pursued in the many different and complementary chapters that have accompanied its history since 2017.



The Art of Heinz Schattner


The immersive Exhibition organised by Confindustria Moda, with the participation of the 7 trade associations that comprise it (AIP – Associazione Italiana Pellicceria, Anfao, Assocalzaturifici, Assopellettieri, Federorafi, Smi Sistema Moda Italia and Unic – Concerie Italiane) was created by the careful selection work in the iconographic archive linked to 40 years of work by Schattner: a journey that started in the world of analogue photography, which has managed to evolve and update itself to now be a digital tale, which, far from returning in a purely functional way, is experimenting with space outside of time and using techniques that turn photos into paintings, in the endless circle between tradition and innovation characteristic at the same time of the history of Made in Italy for which our country is famous worldwide.


The harmonic vision proposed by the immersive Exhibition, divided into sections dedicated to all the sectors that make up the Italian fashion system, stimulates, thanks to the way it has been put together, the observer’s emotional and cognitive abilities, representing the key that unlocks the door to challenging and provocative contexts and moods, a vehicle for personal interpretations in the balance between contradictory and intense sensations. A strong and unequivocal message, an “all for one and one for all” that sees diversity as the strongest synthesis of unity.


“Like Schattner's photos, Made in Italy fashion products are not neutral but they tell of manufacturing perfection using sharp, tidy images, almost stripped of their intensity, objects that are absolute beauty but also contextualised utility: the sections of the Made in Italy productions add  up to complete storytelling with the contextual photos that accompany them and surround them (landscapes, portraits, surfaces), in an overview of Italian products and culture, a kind of full Mediterranean immersion that leaves its mark” , declared Ercole Botto Poala, President of Confindustria Moda.


“My images represent the total freedom of expression that created the shots, combined with precise technical choices. “La Bellezza Utile” amalgamates the sincerity of black and white with the disruptive power of colour. The camera captures the existence of objects and people, allowing observers to feel like they are in an infinite moment and, at the same time, immersed in the contemporaneity of here and now.” added Heinz Schattner.



The immersive Exhibition was created with the contribution of Confindustria Moda’s associations’ international trade fairs: Milano Unica (31 January – 2 February), Mido (4-6 February), Micam Milano (19-22 February), Mipel and TheOneMilano (both 19-22 February), Lineapelle (21-23 February) , to which is added Homi Fashion & Jewels (17-20 February), the Fiera Milano event (also a technical partner of the event) has always worked in synergy and concurrently with the events linked to the Confindustria system.


Specialist exhibitions, each expressing one of the sectors illustrated by “La Bellezza Utile”: events that saw in the immersive Exhibition a way of describing their double and to support the dream, which becomes reality in the their exhibitors’ collections, the moment when the objects presented in digital form are both easy to read, as in Schattner’s photos, and “true” because of the intense sensory nature and vivid concreteness that is expressed in the possibility of touching them with your hands, at the fair.





Born in Germany, Heinz Schattner artistically matured in Paris and London. He has always been in love with Italy, where he now lives and works. To introduce him to the world of photography, as a young man, he worked alongside internationally renowned authors, as an assistant. Fashion is the area in which he found his rightful creative dimension. His countless authoritative collaborations include Italian and American newspapers in the Condé Nast group, along with numerous others around the world. His 10-year stay in the United States led him to explore and enhance his very own multicultural style. His professional development as Artistic Director of television advertising campaigns was inevitable, as was the production of numerous photographic volumes and exhibitions in Italy and around the world.




Confindustria Moda is the Federation which brings together the associations referred to in 7 key sectors of the Italian manufacturing: textile and clothing (SMI Sistema Moda Italia), footwear (Assocalzaturifici), eyewear (Anfao), leather goods (Assopellettieri), jewellery-making (Federorafi), fur products (AIP) and tanning (Unic concerie italiane).


The Federation was created to protect that supply chain of excellence that has made the Made in Italy textile, fashion and accessories industry great in the world. Its role is the defence and promotion of all the creative and technical skills that produces wealth, culture and social growth in Italy.


It represents more than 60,000 companies, with a total of about 550,000 workers; in the period 2022/2026 recruitment is expected to total, which may vary, depending on economic trends in our country, between 64,000 and 94,000 employees (Source Excelsior 2022 Information System).