Ask for it! It's FREE. This CD-Rom contains G.B. Giorgini history, some videos, testimonies and unpuplished photos on the birth of Italian fashion.

Giovanni Battista Giorgini, "Bista" for those who knew him, was born in the 1898 in a large and noble family of Montignoso in Versilia.

Among his ancestors we find another Giovanni Battista, senator and university professor of letters at the Scuola Normale di Pisa, son in law of Alessandro Manzoni.
Still very young, Bista Giorgini takes part to the World War I fighting in the Alps’s trenches.

Then, for a short period, he takes care of his family marble quarries in Carrara but then following his aims he moved to Florence hoping to undertake the diplomatic career. He married "Nella" Nanni. They had 3 sons: Graziella, Vittorio and Matilde.

In 1923 in order to accomplish his aspirations to travel and to be in contact with foreign countries, he opens the buying office.

To establish his first working contacts he immediately traveled to the United States with two main goals: to understand the tastes and the requirements of the American market, and to promote "Made in Italy" merchandise. The business developed quickly and grew up until 1929 when it was stopped by the American crisis.

The resumption was slow and the years until the World War II were very difficult. During the conflict, Bista was in the army, in command of one emplacement near Bagni di Vinadio in Piemonte.

After the family was back to Florence, they lived in Bellosguardo, a hill in the south of the city that dominates the Oltrarno’s part of the town. It’s here that the first column of the Allied army approaches Florence. Florence is still divided in two parts, one under the Germans and the other under the Allies. The Giorgini’s all speak perfect English, and accepting his offer, the Allied Headquarter is arranged in his house in Bellosguardo. Graziella got hired as interpreter. This collaboration will reopen to Giorgini the road of the export.

In 1944 Giorgini was appointed director of the Allied Force Gift Shop, a store for the Allied Force troops. Under his management this successful operation was repeated in other Italian cities. When the II World War ends, Giorgini returns to the United States to re-approach the old partners.

In a few years his office represented the largest USA and Canadian importers and distributors. Among his clients there are well known retailers: I Magnin, B. Altman, Bergdorf Goodman, H. Morgan, Tiffany, Bonwit Teller, Sakowitz etc. The products he exported were those typical of the best Italian handicraft, from the Apparel to Home and Gift: Knitwear, Ceramics, Glass, Straw, Leather, Shoes, etc.

Giorgini unifies in his personality all the aspects that made possible this success. He was an entrepreneur, but he was not always comfortable in this role; collector and passionate of antiques and arts he was also a designer.

The taste and ability to anticipate the fashions led him to always propose new avant-garde trends. He indicates to the manufacturers on how to modify the production, which colors to use and very often he suggests new ideas and models. He is the first one to introduce in Italy the American shoe lasts. Finally, he has great qualities as a public relation man, and this personal quality made him a precursor. Taking the advantage of his important origins and friendships, he acquired clients tempting them with elegant evenings in his wonderful house of Via dei Serragli.

He furnishes his house with antiques and piece of art, recreating an atmosphere that, for his foreign hosts, become a wonderful pleasure. He mixed business with other events such as dances and concerts anticipating a common habit of nowadays.

In the late 40’s one of his "ide? fix" was to promote Italian Fashion which until then did not exist, as the Italian Fashion Houses were all copying their models from Paris. After a strenuous work of contacts with the Italian Fashion Houses, the American Press and some American Buyers he was finally able to organize in February 1951 his first Italian Fashion Show which was the first of many, bringing Italian Fashion to success. This "adventure" is well presented in the CD ROM.

He his certainly a forerunner and has a great courage to attempt French leadership. He has the right contacts both in the United States and in Italy and he wins. Today one of Italy’s main industries floats around fashion. The fashion industry has also helped to give a signed denomination to Made in Italy merchandise. For Bista these are the years of maximum success and development. Buyers from all over the world, Hollywood stars, directors like Alfred Hitchkock, politicians like Truman, ambassadors and culture personalities are hosted in Via dei Serragli.

Giorgini takes care of the fashion until 1965, introducing every year in the organization new ideas and discovering new talents. In the ‘60 he bets on a new challenge: the discovery of Japanese market.

Also in this occasion his initiative foreruns the times and makes easy the start of new relationships that still today are important. Among the most important Japanese clients is Isetan, one of the largest department stores in that country.

After Giorgini’s death in 1971 the buying office continues its activity, managed by his daughter Matilde and by Gianni Ghini, who had been collaborating with Giorgini for many years. At the beginning of the 80’s the grandson Giovanni Battista joined the company, and became managing director in 1991. He accomplished a complete reorganization of the office that is now fully computerized and up to date with the best technologies.

The office represent today important clients practically in every continent from United States and Canada to South America, Australia, Asia and Europe.

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