What a wonderful, full of meaning initiative! Henry Cotton’s recently announced its participation, for the 3rd year running, in the grand White Night of international shopping, the Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. On Thursday 6 September 2012, from 7 pm on, the brand with over 30 years of history and roots in Great Britain will be hosting a charity event in its Milan boutique at 7 Corso Venezia. The event will feature the presentation of a charity project with a special ethical dimension, one that is encapsulated in a stole that reproduces a painting, “Guardia campestre” (oil on canvas), by the renowned contemporary artist Federico Guida. With its brushwork inspired by the poetics of Francis Bacon and its subject, a half-asleep bear in its natural habitat, the work of this young talent on the international art scene expresses eloquent affinities with the heritage of a brand rooted in an outdoor lifestyle and cultural milieu that are typically British and “country”.
Coming in various natural fabrics and on sale exclusively during this glittering festival of shopping and glamour, the prestige textile accessory is in fact the manifesto of a far wider-reaching creative project: Name the Bear. Conceived by Leonardo Rotatori for Mazzotta Art Selection, of which he is a founder member and sole director, and inspired by the vibrant, iconographical style of American social advertising, harbinger of the Pop movement, “Name the Bear” expresses, in the words of Rotatori “an ironic but very serious message on social issues: the bear printed on these sophisticated stoles is not only the loveable mascot of our childhoods, immediately tempting us to give it a name it, but is also, on closer inspection, resting on a mound of share certificates”. So Guida’s work is in fact a postmodern allegory: the Bear, as opposed to the Bull, is subject to mood swings that inhibit the world’s stock markets and threaten to reduce our assets to so much paper. By naming the bear, it can be distracted from our economic resources and persuaded not to hinder efforts to overcome the crisis.
“Name the bear” is also the title of a global social networking campaign, launched mainly on Facebook, to choose a name for this placid bear who is in any case influencing our future. The brand is taking the opportunity offered by this exclusive charity sale (at a very democratic price) to raise its public’s awareness of an issue on everyone’s mind at present: responsible management and safeguarding of financial resources by the banking system. The original formula Henry Cotton’s has chosen, as well as consolidating the already tried-and-tested partnership of art and fashion (thanks also to Leonardo Rotatori and Federico Guida), carries a message with a clear ethical purpose that goes beyond the clichés of green aesthetics. The brand has always been an exponent, in fact, of simple and natural values that are relevant to people’s aspirations. After Milan, the presentation event will be repeated in Tokyo, on the evening of 8 September, in the various corners the company has in the capital of the Rising Sun.