Authenticity is the new luxury
Let’s talk about food! Because we believe every aspect of life is dependent on and tied to another, F.Egidio fully embraces the slow living lifestyle. Our founder and designer, Egidio Fauzia, is a member of Slow Food, a global grassroots organization that prevents the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions.
20 years ago, Egidio was introduced to the movement while traveling through Italy. “In 2001, we were touring Tuscany. One day, we got lost in a tiny village with an empty stomach. We came across a restaurant that served fantastic dishes and had the time of our lives. We started chatting with the chef and he mentioned Slow Food and his desire to work with local and small producers. He showed me a book containing all Slow Food restaurants, including his own osteria. I was mesmerized and this book became my new bible. Once we got home, I immediately joined the movement.”
About twice a year, Egidio travels to Italy to visit local farmers who work with food that’s in danger of disappearing. The Slow Food movement protects and promotes them. Amongst others, he came across a Sicilian cooperative trying to save the Menfi artichoke. Whereas the traditional artichoke plant produces several fruits, the carciofo spinoso di Menfi consists only of the mother flo
wer with the occasional second flower. Whilst the pointed artichoke is simply delicious, the species is not seen as the luxury good it is, but as an unprofitable product and is threatened with extinction.
Wanting to make a commitment to both Slow Food and the farmers of the Menfi artichoke, Egidio decided to create an experience around the forgotten fruit. In collaboration with designer Michaël Verheyen and Jo Lemmens from Restaurant U, our founder set up an artichoke dinner for which he purchased 250 of the Menfi artichokes. “We wanted to offer our guests a unique experience whilst helping to save the artichoke by purchasing a large part of the harvest from the Menfi cooperative.”
The story doesn’t end there. The proceeds of the event went to Slow Food. They used the money to plant a vegetable garden in a school in Africa so that the schoolchildren were able to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden they maintained themselves.
This story is just one example of how, in fashion as well as in the food industry, authenticity has become today’s luxury. As a brand, we want to do our part to counteract this way of thinking by making an effort to protect those goods and skills that are likely to disappear. Because quality and craftsmanship are worth preserving.