by ANDREA SCARPA - Photo by ANDREA COLZANI
I was born in Milan, in Porta Venezia, and here I live. I’m lucky because I can live where I was born. As feelings are concerned, it is definitely a fortune.
SWINGING LONDON AND THE 60s
In the 60s Milan was a very conservative city. I had already been to London and realized that there were different movements and ideas, it was a different society. The most popular slogan was “Peace & Love”.
THE FIORUCCI REVOLUTION
Surprisingly, the Fiorucci store’s opening created a sort of mini-revolution, that eventually spread even to Cosa in via della Spiga, Gulp… It was a revolution, our store in Corso Vittorio Emanuele was bigger, then we also opened in New York, Los Angeles, all over the world, but the spirit was already felt in Milan. Milan is a lively, intelligent and modern city and at the end the Milanesi understood it. I remember the first customers who left the shop in a miniskirt and then came to talk to me. “I was walking under a construction site and all the workers came down…”, one of the customers said laughing, happy to show off her wonderful legs. She was so happy for those whistles and the workers’ rush down into the street to look at her. For her it was like being on a catwalk.
WHY MILAN IS BETTER
Milan’s geographical position originated a great population that is used to hospitality.
I think it was the crossroads for many people, many cultures, so Milan learned other customs and then made them its own. Milan is a hospitable city, usually people are good and pleased to see strangers. Milan has never refused anyone. It accepted the flow of Southerners like no other city has been able to, because Milan had the means to do so. With regards to racism, Milan is the least racist of all.
YES TO THE MOSQUE
I’m in favor of the mosque and I accept other religions, as well as I would like other religions to accept ours.
SALVINI? NO, THANKS
I think Salvini is out of place. I don’t understand what he wants to do. He doesn’t belong to our culture. I can’t understand how someone can play on people’s fear, weakness and vulnerability in order to get votes. It’s a disgrace.I must say that Milan has stood up to the crisis better than most other places, since fortunately Milan is also home to foreign companies. Milan isn’t very political, a mayor can be either from the right or the left wing, it is free, it thinks, once people can vote right and left the next. The Milanesi vote the person. Every movement was born in Milan. It is a city that leads also in politics.
CONSERVATIVE AND OPEN-MINDED
It has always been conservative and open-minded. Milan is never static, never still, it is always capable of anticipating times.
MILAN’S SUCCESS FACTOR
Thanks to Milan and destiny. Being born here is a matter of fate, it wasn’t a choice. This put me in a position where I could easily have everything. I have to admit that when I see some very capable young person I feel sorry and I think ‘It’s such a pity this person doesn’t live in Milan where there are opportunities that don’t exist anywhere else’. Therefore if people manage to be successful somewhere else it means that they are more than good.
There is too much choice… Porta Ticinese, Quartiere Isola that has recently been renewed, a magical place. Also the Milan of the 40s has its charm, with its architecture, its esthetic quality… the Milanesi who live there seem to be made for that place. Sometimes I see people in Milan and I know right away which part of the city they come from. Now I also like the skyscrapers in Isola, that at the beginning seemed to be spoiling everything. Now I thank goodness they are there. They are beautiful.
THE CITY OF CREATIVITY
It is the city of creativity. For example Gilda Bojardi, extraordinary journalist, invented the Fuorisalone after realizing that Milan itself could become a place of exposure and not simply for trade. The city itself has its own vision of creativity.
MILAN FOR EVERYONE
It is the most international, it can’t be identified only with the Milanesi. There are Germans, Chinese, Americans… It is a small island in a large region, Lombardy, populated by people from all over the world. Milan is a large deposit of knowledge, love and work that don’t exist in any other city. That is why we love and try to help Milan.
ON DOLCE & GABBANA’S SIDE
I’m on Dolce and Gabbana’s side. I’ve always found it monstrous that we can rent the uterus of a woman and then take the child away. Because of some sort of emotional selfishness the child will never meet its mother, enormously damaging both the woman and the child who will always wonder who its mother is. Perhaps we should take this into consideration because in the end someone with no mother will carry the burden all life long.
ELTON JOHN, VERY GOOD SINGER BUT…
Elton John made some very moving music, that almost feels like church music, but the fact that he is not sensitive about this topic scares me.
I wonder… first of all you are responsible for the unhappiness of a mother, who will never know where her child is, just because in a difficult situation she accepted money to do something that she will surely regret. Even if you’re gay you should have given the semen and told the woman ‘Look, we won’t have sex, but you will be the mother of my children.’ This would be another matter.
Dolce and Gabbana, who I admire very much as people and professionals, are brilliant. They did the right thing reporting this.
ADOPTING IS BETTER
If you want a child first of all you consider adoption, which is a wonderful thing. And rich people can afford to adopt not one but ten children. They can go see them, take care of them, give them gifts. They can offer them a good life… Why should one say ‘This is my child, and comes from my semen?’ To be able to say that means that you have “stolen” the child from the mother. I think this thing is obscene. Yes, the right word is obscene.
MADONNA? ALMOST A SAINT
Madonna was an amazing girl. I’ve known her since she was still unknown, she has a strong and sensitive soul, she is a role model. She freed girls from sex fear, love fear, fear to make decisions on their own. She won because she has values, if she hadn’t, people would not have accepted her. She said sacrosanct things, and so for me she is almost a saint.
I used to take him to the Plastic. I remember his last trip here, poor fellow, to present the Last Supper. He loved to see Milan, liked to meet me, although it’s a bit presumptuous to say, he loved to meet his friends and loved to go to the Plastic.
At Plastic he saw all these guys who were highly educated and intelligent, in this magical disco where avant-garde music was played. I remember when I invited Keith Haring to paint our store. After that I took him to the Plastic where he met Nicola, the creative soul of the club. They started a relationship, one went to New York to meet the other, and vice versa. There was tolerance for everything, which is typical of countries with a civilized society.