Benetton’s crock of wool

jumpers benettonUnited Colors of Benetton celebrated 50 years digging deep in its archive and bringing back to life some of its most iconic items. The result is there in a number of capsule collections launched as of 2015.

Our story begins in Milan in 2009 on a cold Winter afternoon at Opening Soon, an exhibition on the best shop designs commissioned by Benetton. Part of the Trienale de Arquitectura this exhibition was there to present the best projects laid out by architects from all over the world for Benetton stores. And much to our surprise the jury chose the Portuguese architect Pereira, “whose design – Combispace – linked the different levels of the building with fluidity and originality, creating a flexible system of transformable spaces and product displays”. The ideas of the six architects were just amazing, bring new perspectives to retail spaces as we could see by taking a close look at the scale models on display in the huge rooms with high ceilings hosting the exhibition. We wandered the room looking down and upon looking up we came up with a new angle for the story, or better, we went there to write a story and we ended up with material to write a new one.

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Decorating the room, hanging from the ceiling dozens of jumpers in different colors showed some of Benetton’s most iconic models. The brand had searched the archives and came up with this amazing display of its art and craft. While below was what the brand considered to be the future of its retail stores, above was his legacy in that room. And so was the man who made all of it, Luciano Benetton, who had just entered the room. The future the past and the man who had reinvented knitwear all in one room. It is now 2016 and much to our surprise some of these iconic items hanging from the ceiling are to be found in stores worldwide. Using new knitting techniques thanks to the re-adaptation of existing machines some of these iconic models have been brought to life in new capsule collections as of 2015 and to mark the 50th birthday of a brand whose story began when Giuliana Benetton offered her bother Lucciano a yellow jumper, a brand that is now a household name everywhere in the world.

Carlos Tomé Sousa

 

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