In the past couple of years I began noticing that our main fabric supplier, who always provided us with the best material, was beginning to experience some problems as a result of the unregulated global market and the crisis of our domestic economy. They were participating less often in major exhibitions and fairs and their merging with other brands marked the beginning of the end to a long-time traditional work ethic and quality of product “made in Italy”. I was very saddened by all this: the loss of an important and historical supplier who had been around at least a hundred years. I began looking back at the fabric samples that I had stocked with maniacal care for over 20 years, samples that were sent to me every year and which helped me shape my seasonal collections. These fabrics, which came into my hands, had such names as Alaska, Elk, Antelope, evoking images of big open spaces. For each one I had written notes; on one of these was a name that differed from all the rest – “Milcin” – and I had singled out its weight and height. My notes said, “velvet with chenille honeycomb processing, rural woven fabric”; I started rubbing it in my hands to test its consistency and ‘hand’ tough and strong fabric, certainly not stuff for a ‘snobby gentleman’. It was strongly banded together and compact, very different from web or paper fabrics now widely used by clothing multinationals. That proud and timeless fabric assured quality and endurance. In my opinion it would last for at least three generations. I could already imagine how it could be used and transformed. The problem was to find out if it was still available. I immediately called the factory in the hope that after all these years they still had it in stock, but no, it was sold out. Hesitantly, and without much hope, I then asked them if they could reproduce it on their own frames. Surprisingly this time I got a positive answer, at which point I ordered a large quantity that was delivered within a few weeks. A month later and the factory would have closed! That special fabric would now be produced exclusively for us. I immediately started thinking how I would transform it into jackets and waistcoat to be sold around the world, while also keeping some items for ourselves that would remain in our ‘archive’, jealously guarded as the ‘fossils’ of a world that was disappearing.