Just to be honest, because many of you asked about this matter. Some of the best creatives I’ve found in my life were from Italy. The best fashion designers and some of the best contributors as well.
But after the 90s, Milan started to fall down in a deep and unlimited dark zone, referring to the creative and production side of this business.
Since 15 years I’m not working in Milan anymore. Even for the italian brands we work in London, LA or NYC with the same budget.
I mean, I love Milan and the creativity that came from that town in the 70s, 80s and 90s. But today…
Around 20 years ago magazines and advertising agencies in Milan decided to make the difference choosing the best budget.
Not the best quality like NYC or London did. In Milan the crisis pushed the mags and the art directors to work with what was cheaper and some of them, the ones still on the market, they still work in that direction (and the digital helped a lot to do that).
So, they started to recruit “creatives” and “models” from eastern Europe or south America because they were just cheap. I mean, of course not everyone coming from those areas were fake or cheap, but the best ones moved to other towns.
Milan kept the low budget contributors. You just needed a camera and a closed mind and you were perfect for those stupid art directors managing the fashion editorals and campaigns in Milan. You just needed to shut up, shoot teathered waiting them (totally unprepared) to tell you if your pics were right.
Ops, some people working sometimes in Milan are telling me that it’s still like that.
But, this is the point, cheap is bringing you nowhere in this business and today every single professional pointing to the best quality is not accepting to work in Milan and they will never do it.
I’m with all of them, there’s no chance to work in Milan anymore.
My managers handle the same budget in London or NYC depending where I am, but I can’t go back to work where everything is cheap, the quality, the level of the contributors and even the services related to our job.
So, if we have a $35,000 a day for a fashion editorial we can keep it for London, Paris or NYC.
But never ask us to do it in Milan because we will never.
We can work in Italy for sure for an outside location but we bring our talents with us, make up artists, hair stylists and stylists together with the best models.
We edit images on location wherever in this world and we have some of the best pros in NYC and London to take care of the post-production process. I can shoot in Maui or Sydney and we have the service I need in real time from my agency.
But, to make it clear. You get the best only if you work with the best.
Change the Hasselblad I can have on location with another camera and I don’t care, I can still get what I want and what I need.
But do not change the hair stylist, the make up artist, the stylist or the model with some other cheap un-pros people because you will never get the job done as planned.
Milan made a choice around 20 years ago. I personally made the choice to travel around the globe.
What they get today is coming from that choice. A very low level of quality attracting un-professional creatives or contributors.
No thank you, at my age no need to waste time and money.
See you around Milan.