Campari Gallery opens its doors to a new exhibition celebrating the timeless style and elegance of an international icon of the Milanese beverage industry

Edited by: Fiammetta Cesana

Everything began in 1860, when Gaspare Campari, fascinated by people’s drinking habits, invented the recipe of the famous aperitif bitter, which took his name. After the launch of the first bar, that new red drink was so appreciated and requested to allow him to open a second place: the historic Campari bar in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele that, at the time, was just inaugurated as a new hub for high bourgeoisie socialites in the heart of Milan.

Then, in 1904, when the reins of the company were passed down to his son, Davide, the production site and headquarter was established on the city’s borders. In those years, the successor demonstrated intuitive and avant-garde capacities by leading Campari product to be internationally recognizable not only for its taste, but also thanks to an exemplary development of image. Davide indeed was among the first to acknowledge the artistic potential, beyond the mere commercial one, of advertising creations. And so, collaborating with important fashion masters, designers and filmmakers, he gave his father’s drink a unique, fashionable iconography.

In 2010, on the occasion of the 150 years of the group’s history, an art gallery was inaugurated giving a completely new face to the headquarter in Sesto San Giovanni. This multimedia space brought to light incredible materials from the brand’s archives, including more than 3,000 works on paper, especially the original Belle Époque affiches, as well as carousels directed by Federico Fellini and Singh Tarsem, and objects signed by designers such as Matteo Thun, Dodo Arslan, Markus Benesch and Matteo Ragni.

Today, the gallery hosts another exhibition, entitled “Storie di Moda” (“Stories of Fashion”), to show how the brand realm, from the bottles’ to the posters’ graphics, has been able to transform its style over the years, according to new vogues and trends, but never losing its elegant charm. In a multi-sensory mix of visual images, music, artworks and fashion designs, the African-born curator, Renata Molho, distinguishes four thematic sections: “Elegance”, “Shape and Soul”, “Futurismi” and “Lettering”.

Alongside new pieces from the Campari archive, it offers original works created by artists like Fortunato Depero, Bruno Munari, Marcello Dudovich, Franz Marangolo, creations by Gianfranco Ferré Foundation, sculpture dresses by Roberto Capucci Foundation, and Germana Marucelli’s futuristic projects.

Through stylistic flashbacks and flashforwards, it also features accessories from the 30s of Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, sketches dresses by Giorgio Armani, 60s Campari posters, magazine covers reworked by designer Ana Strumpf’s pop touch, photographic experiments by Giovanni Gastel, and objects from Laura Biagiotti’s “Futurballa” collection.

Then it’s just the time to raise a glass (of Campari bitter, of course) to the eternal elegance, to the knowledge of past and contemporary history that makes the style immortal, and to the ability to adapt to changes, culturally and aesthetically, which gave the drink’s rich and fine flavor also to its immaginative portrait in the world.

“Storie di Moda”
Galleria Campari
Sesto San Giovanni, Milan
From October 5, 2018 to March 9, 2019