Matteo Pasquinelli on Mon, 28 Feb 2005 22:08:57 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Operation Serpica Naro. Milan fashion industry spoofed by anti-precarity activists

[ the biggest and funniest hoax in years. enjoy. /m ]

Serpica Naro:
Press: (pdf di 4


News, pics, video:

Milan Fashion Week Anti-precarity Action
by Ben, 27.02.2005

At the end of Fashion Week in Milan, anti-precarity activists pulled
off an ambitious spoof against the fashion industry and the mainstream
media. The scene was set earlier in the week when protesters targeted
the a cat walk show by Prada and issued a statement that there would be
further protests and that the fashion show by the controversial
japanese designer Serpica Naro. On Thursday another show was disrupted
when eight women breached security and took over the cat walk and
issued further statements over the microphone before being kicked out.

Milans police contacted the press agent of Serpica Naro and warned them
of the threats being made to disrupt her show which was schedualed to
take place on saturday evening. The media ran a few stories and the
agent for Serpica Naro was interviewed about the prospect of protests
by anti-precarity activists.

Saturday arrived and preparation for the Serpica Naro show were on the
way while in a nearby social centre a gathering of activists swelled to
around a hundred. On mass the protesters left the social centre and
headed for the location of the fashion show which has been set up in a
large marquee in a car park on a bridge over the railway by a large

The police however had no intention of letting the protesters disrupt
the fashion show and were present in large nummbers blocking all access
to the bridge (the location being almost perfectly choosen to
facilitate such protection). There was a stand off but the protesters
werer laughthing rather than being intimidated or upset at being
prevented from reaching their target.

The police were rather confussed - the protesters showed the printed
permission showing that they had infact official booked the bridge for
an event. Even more confussing, the press agent for Serpica Naro was
with the group of protesters, as were a group of models. Eventually the
true came out - there was no famous japanese designer by the name of
Serpica Naro. The whole fashion show was an elabroate hoax organised by
anti-precarity campaigners who were now set to turn the tables on the
media and the fashion industry with their own fashion show.

The police were slow in accepting their fate and the egg on their face
but eventualy stepped aside for the crowd to access the bridge. With
cheers the police line fell away and the work began on transforming the
marquee into a fashion show.

At around 7pm the press began to assemble, still on the whole, unaware
of the joke. The show began and Serpica Naros press agent took the mic
to and explained the situation to the gathered media. At the same time,
a mass of people had marched onto the bridge behind the banner of San
Precario - the mythical patron saint of precarious workers. The group
and the banner entered the marquee to cheers.

The spot lights came on an traversed the cat walk as the show began.
Seven models came out one at a time in custumes designed to expose and
poke fun out of issues relating to the precarious nature of
employement. Cameras flashed at TV cameras jostled for postion as the
show continued.

After the industrial couture there were additional fashion shows
including Sailormars from London - a collection made entirely from
waste fabric and trimmings thrown away by the garment industry of east


The party continued into the night and the organisers of the spoof
awaiting the mornings press to see exactly what their had reaped. The
total cost of the action was in the region of five thousand euros. With
the slogan "Precarity is in Fashion", the campaign should hopefully
shed a little media light on the issue for this week at least.


[ Biography. Source: ]

Tokyo based anglojapanese Serpica Naro has built up a strong reputation
as a young designer who has consistently pushed the boundaries of
fashion design.

She graduated from Bunka Fashion College and is internationally known
for innovative use of high tech fabrics and unusual cutting techniques.

Her experimentation in areas removed from the mainstream have included
the invention of disguise clothing as well as pioneering the use of
reflective fabrics and bandages in fashion collections. Her diffusion
collections have included the legendary NonConform range, the
indispensable work wear of the late 90's, now revered by collectors.

Inspired by the fusion of cultures in urban Tokyo and London and its
distinctively varied nightlife, Serpica's following within the
alternative and fashion industry remains strong.

She has recently clothed Chloe Sevigny, Steffen Westmark from The Blue
Van, Dot Alison and Lady Laditron amongst others, and has been featured
in Lucire, I-D, The Face, Dazed and Confused Japan, Intersection, le
Monde Initiatives and many others.

Serpica stages many fashion/alternative events all over the world and
is a household name in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong - as much for her
lifestyle collections, which include underwear, accessories, as for her
contemporary cutting edge clothing.

Serpica was the first designer to market work uniforms under her own
name, and continues to be involved in such diverse projects as
customising an environmentally friendly diaper for kids, and more
recently, to introduce a revolutionary anti drying skin system, the
DropLife System, to be launched in Japan soon.

"we are not low class, we are not high class, we are the new class"

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: