(Conception assistée par ordinateur; Computer Aided Concept). Different from D.a. (Dessin assisté par ordinateur; Computer Aided Design), which simulates products in the form of images, C.a.o. conceives a product by taking in account its morphologic limits and the techniques of production. This technology made its appearance in the mid 1960s, and was applied to cutting and paper patterns, and was improved in the early 1970s on textile structure. A computer transforms the data provided (measurements, model, and fabric) into a standard paper pattern on which fabric is then cut with a laser and later sewn. It is therefore possible to create custom-made prototypes in a very short time. C.a.o. provides also an archive which facilitates the work of designers. The system was created by the Alsatian company Vestra.


(Comité de coordination des Industries de la Mode). Established in 1955 by Albert Lempereur, it is the only organization for style and fashion recognized by the French government and supported by the textile and clothing federations. It provides important information about future trends to all sectors of the industry. The forecasts (about fabrics, colors, shapes, and styles) are based on the experience of the most famous organizations for style and fashion, among them the three international leaders: Promostyl, Mafia, and Dominique Peclers. Financial difficulties in 1990 required a partial privatization of C.I.M. with the entry of the style office Nelly Rodi.

C.P. Company

Italian brand of sportswear. Its designs are meant mostly for young people, and are inspired by the uniforms of American sports teams. Massimo Osti is the designer who, for some time, has brought the brand success.


(Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione). A research center and archive at the University of Parma. It was conceived at the Institute of Art History directed by Carlo Arturo Quintavalle in the late 1960s. The purpose was to create an art Collection on the model of American universities, on the basis of donations of complete archives suitable for illustrating the creative process of the artist and not only the final masterpiece. The initiative was successful. Quintavalle convinced many architects, many designers from Milan, and many stylists to donate their archives. The Collection is divided into 5 sections. The Project section includes a Collection of 70,000 fashion sketches and a large number of clothes. The Walter Albini unit is particularly important, together with that of the illustrator Brunetta. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Center collected materials from the most important Italian griffes of the 20th century. The archives can be consulted by scholars and by students with a letter of introduction. The catalogue will soon be available on the Internet. There are exhibitions, seminars, and courses, as well as a publishing program. From its current headquarters in the Nervi Pavilion of Parma, the center will soon move to the Certosa of Valserena.


Dutch group active in the manufacture and distribution of clothing. It is among the world’s leaders. Its yearly turnover (an average in the early 1990s) amounts to 10,000 billion liras. The acronym is composed of the names of the brothers Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer, who in 1841 in Sneek, Holland established a clothing factory. The first C&A shop was opened in 1861. It was a success because it offered, ahead of its time, ready-to-wear fashion at cheap prices. In 1910 it began expanding throughout Holland and then abroad, where other family members opened new shops: the first was in Germany (1911), followed by England (1922), Belgium (1963), France (1972), Switzerland (1977), Luxembourg (1982), Spain (1983), Austria (1984), Portugal (1991), and, finally, Denmark (1995), for a total of 550 shops and a staff of 40,000 people. It offers clothing for children, men, and women in different styles and at different prices, all in the same location. The brands offered by the company, which is today still owned by the family, are Westbury, Jinglers, Palomino, Clockhouse, Rodeo, Your & Sense, Baby Club, Angelo Litrico, Yessica, Canda, and Here & There.


Large sports jacket in light fabric. Some believe it is descended from the uniforms of English coachmen of the 1800s and named after the term for the carriage, a cab. Others believe it is related to a jacket worn by seamen from Brittany in the 1700s. Warm and functional, the caban has been manufactured in very different shapes and materials. In the last decade or so it lost its identity as being for men only and became a unisex garment.


The year 2000 saw the birth of a very close collaboration between two photographers who shared a passion for art (they had already participated in various exhibits, both solo and group) and a curiosity about the world of fashion: Alessandra Caccia (1975) and Francesca Grilli (1978). Alessandra, who is from Milan, attended the School of Cinema and the Riccardo Bauer Professional School of Photography there and won the Pezza Award. Fancesca, who is from Bologna, received a university degree from the ISIA of Urbino, and, after moving to Milan, also attended courses at the Bauer school. Their photographs are characterized by a taste for narrative and logical progression, with open tribute paid to a hard-boiled noir style mitigated by irony. For them, clothing is a central fact, around which everything else turns. They work with young designers interested in a new language, such as Serienumerica from Turin, and with famous international brands such as the American cosmetics company Mac. They have published their work in Will, Boiler, and Uovo Zero2.