European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

ITS Arcademy: preserving and showcasing of Heritage and Creativity

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In the heart of beautiful Trieste, Italy’s first museum for contemporary fashion presents two new exhibitions looking at the past, present and future of fashion

ITS Arcademy – Museum of Art in Fashion stands as Italy’s first museum dedicated to contemporary fashion, offering a platform for inspiring exhibitions while preserving a distinctive collection of over 15,000 fashion, jewellery, and accessory pieces created by emerging talents from around the globe.

As its name suggests, ITS Arcademy is both an archive and an academy, representing an innovative international space at the crossroads of fashion, art, and culture. This unique institution places visionary objects and their narratives at the core of an immersive experience designed to ignite the creative spirit of every visitor.

The museum proudly houses the ITS Arcademy Collection, a treasure trove of over 15,000 creative projects amassed through the various editions of the ITS Contest. This prestigious contest was established by ITS Arcademy founder Barbara Franchin in 2002. Each year, finalists—many of whom have since ascended to international prominence—donate a sample of their work to the collection, ensuring their innovative creations are preserved for future generations.

The organization and conservation of the ITS Arcademy Collection has been a lifelong passion for Barbara Franchin. Over the years, she has collaborated with leading experts to ensure the highest possible standards of preservation and presentation are met. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that the collection not only serves as a repository of creative excellence but also as an enduring source of inspiration and education for future generations of designers, artists, and fashion enthusiasts.

The museum’s exhibitions are carefully curated to showcase the depth and diversity of the collection, offering visitors a rich tapestry of creative expression that spans continents and cultures. Each exhibit is designed to provide a deep and engaging exploration of the themes and stories behind the works, highlighting the innovative spirit and artistic vision of the designers.

ITS Arcademy is more than just a museum; it is a dynamic cultural institution that fosters creativity and innovation. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, and extensive collection, it continues to celebrate and promote the transformative power of fashion and design.


The ITS Arcademy programming features a series of imaginative and thought-provoking exhibitions curated by internationally acclaimed curators. These exhibitions serve as the foundation for a variety of forward-thinking educational activities designed to engage and inspire visitors. Currently on display until January 6th, 2025, are two exhibitions:

**The Many Lives of a Garment**

Curated by Olivier Saillard and Emanuele Coccia, this exhibition invites visitors on an immersive journey through the evolving value and significance of garments at different stages of their lifecycle. By examining clothing in both domestic and public contexts, the exhibition offers a deep and nuanced understanding of how garments transcend their material form to become carriers of personal and cultural stories.

The exhibition features designs from the renowned ITS Collection, displayed alongside everyday clothing items loaned by visitors as well as iconic pieces from actresses Charlotte Rampling and Tilda Swinton. This juxtaposition of high fashion and personal apparel highlights the universal and democratic nature of clothing as a medium of expression.

A unique participatory section of the exhibition encourages local citizens to contribute by displaying their most cherished garment. These items, which are not necessarily the most beautiful or expensive, reveal the profound power of fashion to tell and preserve intimate and collective stories. This interactive element underscores the exhibition’s theme of clothing as a living archive of human experience.

**Born to Create**

This vibrant and dynamic showcase features the works of the finalists and winners of the latest ITS Contest edition, representing the pinnacle of contemporary fashion, accessories, and jewelry design. The exhibition provides an intimate glimpse into the creative worlds of these innovative designers through guided tours led by experts.

Visitors are invited to engage actively with the exhibition by voting for their favorite designer. The designer with the most votes will be honored with the ITS Arcademy Public’s Award at the conclusion of the exhibition. Following the exhibition, the displayed works will be preserved within the ITS Arcademy Collection, ensuring their place in the history of contemporary design.