After flying for 24 hours with barely enough sleep, most travellers would want to rest and hit the cobbled streets the next day. But not me, because the taxi ride from the airport to the accommodation was the most beautiful and surreal experience. My whole world went from zero to a hundred real quick, and I don’t just mean the temperature. Rolling in to the city centre was like rolling onto a movie set. Everything seems almost too precious to be real. From the green window shutters to the grandeur of the Duomo, one can see how Florence was the epicentre for culture and creativity.

The Duomo makes for the most beautiful background

The best way to start your morning in Italy is with a pastry, some freshly squeezed orange juice and a cappuccino. It’s the only way. For my first morning in Florence, I was on a mission to get these breakfast necessities. Once I was fuelled, we popped over to a foodie paradise market. Filled with cold meats, fresh fruit, cheese, pastries and wine. Admittedly, it was a bit overwhelming, but, by the end of the trip our bags were bursting with produce.

First day of Fashion Events and Public Relations didn't technically start until Tuesday, as Monday was just a short orientation. I was excited, anticipating many things: what the classes would be like, what I will learn, the people I’ll meet, all the fashion talk. First lesson was actually a meeting with our fashion brand, Barone Firenze. We were tasked with getting to know the brand from a marketing perspective and to use this knowledge to put towards an upcoming communications strategy and fashion event. This was very exciting as we were working with a real life leather brand from Italy, who needed our help.

For the next two weeks, my group and I would take classes in Fashion Writing, Event Management, and Communications all for the purpose of creating one blow-out event, dedicated to our brand. As part of our course we had the opportunity to visit some incredible fashion museums. The first was the Salvatore Ferragamo museum, where the theme for this particular exhibition was, sustainability. This was incredibly informative and fascinating, as someone who wants to learn and practice sustainability. As the fashion industry is the third most polluting industry, this exhibition showcased how products, like shoes and dresses, could be made out of organic material. This exhibition was more than just pretty shoes, it looked to the past in order to give hope for a more environmentally friendly future.

Shoes at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum

Photos from Gucci Garden

The next museum excursion was to the very funky, Gucci Garden, which is also a very exclusive store. This museum exhibition showcased the true meaning behind Gucci designs. Many of the designs were made as a way to express individuality and spread a message of acceptance for all. This could be seen through the weird, colourful and vibrant displays.

By the end of the second week, we had to decide on both a theme and a name. This proved to be excruciating, as there are dozens of us with all our own ideas. The task was especially difficult as we had to come up with a theme that would encompass not one, not two, but three very different Italian fashion brands. And the theme could not be beautiful Italy, as everyone wanted. The other two brands were being studied by fashion design courses, which created some confusion over which will be the main brand. However, after a long, collaborative meeting we all settled on a solution.

Our event was officially entitled, DiversifIED: creative inclusivity. The theme was inclusion and acceptance for all genders and personalities, to feel safe with one’s self through creative expression. The ‘IED’ is the acronymized name of the fashion institution. Once the name and theme was selected, we started to begin powering through the logistical and physical planning of the event, as we only had less than a week left. Normally, panic would ensue but like most things in Italy, these emotions would come about late. 

Hi, my name is Caroline and I am in my second year at university, studying a major in International Relations and a minor in Professional Writing. Ever since I was young I have loved to travel. As an immigrant and a multicultural person, I have always wanted to explore the world. I also love art, either making it or studying it, and would love to one day work in the industry whilst travelling the world.