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ITALY: FASHION

The fashion industry in Italy is really big business.  Many of the world's most famous design houses started in Italy in the early part of the 20th century.  Milan remains a major fashion center.

Fendi, now best known for handbags, began as a furrier in 1918.  Ferragamo, famous for shoes, immigrated to the United States in 1923 and fit some of the most famous here.  Then, he returned to Florence, Italy in 1936 where he remained. Some of his customers include the Queen of England and Princess Margaret.

Missoni, famous for his multi-colored, sophisticated knitwear, opened his business in 1948 and had his geometric designs exhibited at the Whitney Museum.  Versace's first store opened in 1978 in Milan.  He is best known for his metallic dresses which were displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City after he died in 1997.

Probably the most famous designer today is Giorgio Armani.  His business opened in 1975 and he soon became one of Italy's most incredible fashion stories.  He is known for innovation.  In 1995, he declared black to be the most elegant color.  It still is considered so today.

Today, all of these houses plus Gucci, Prada, and others, continue to keep Italian designers among the most popular in the world.

1. How long was Ferragamo in the United States before returning to Florence?  How long has Ferragamo been in business?  How long has Fendi been in business?

2. Rosa, Elsa, and Nicola are going shopping.  Rosa buys Gucci shoes for $156, sunglasses for $99.50, and a bag for $399.  Elsa buys Prada—a tote for $300, shoes for $132, and pants for $280.  Nicola is buying gifts.  She loves Fendi and gets 3 handbags for $80 each and 2 pairs of shoes at $60 a pair.  Who spent the most?  the least?  Show your work.

3. Milan is the fashion capital of Italy.  There is a big fashion show coming up and arrangements must be made.  Luci is going.  She has $4000.  She spends 1/4 of her money on transportation, 1/8 on food, 1/2 on hotel.  How much spending money does she have left?  Make a circle graph to display your results.

4. Marie is going to a very fancy party.  She loves Italian designers.  She sees a Versace dress for $675 but it is marked 25% off.  She sees an Armani for $800 which is marked 30% off.  Since she likes both of them, which is the better bargain?

5. Carmella has a Missoni sweater.  There are 5 different colors in that sweater.  She has 3 pairs of slacks and 4 different skirts that would go with it.  She has 2 pairs of shoes that would work with either pants or skirts.  How many different outfits could she make?

Fashion Solutions

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