Amidst a deluge of flashes and applause, the awarding of the "Leonardo da Vinci" Lifetime Achievement Award for (for Design) to Vivienne Westwood took place this afternoon in the Spadolini Pavilion of the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, as part of the 13th Florence Biennale, an international exhibition of contemporary art and design.
Particularly crowded with spectators, the theatre area received a standing ovation for the English fashion designer and activist who, before the award ceremony, wanted to visit her space in the exhibition that - among mannequins with her creations, some videos and various photos - traces the main stages of her career, with particular attention to her campaigns in defence of human rights and the environment.
Jacopo Celona, General Director of Florence Biennale, presented her with the following award: "in recognition of a revolutionary creative production that has marked the history of fashion design over the last fifty years, changing and expanding the concept of femininity, and for having conceived and promoted innovative campaigns with the aim of protecting life on our Mother Earth".
While thanking the Florence Biennale management, Vivienne Westwood wanted to read, in English and Italian, the "Letter-SOS to save the planet". This is the full text: "The word World Economy means 'management of the HOME'. Mother Earth is our home, so on a global scale, economy equals sustainability. We do not have it. We have no future. Our financial system is based on perpetual wars, trade wars and competition; it is the cause of climate change. Wars are fought over territory and cheap labour. The real economy is based on the value of land. "The land belongs to no one. We are its custodians. A contribution should be made to the public purse for the use of the land, a huge untapped revenue. NO TAXES! All other transactions from man to man. Cooperation not competition. Fair distribution of wealth. I have a plan to save the world that can work because I have analysed the problem and I have the solution. My team, Climate Revolution, has started the campaign for an Earth-based economy through reforestation; we aim to create wilderness corridors. We are asking for the cooperation of the government".
Florence Biennale Media Office
Photo by: The Factory