From 18-21 January 2018, during Pitti Immagine Bimbo, Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi hosted an exhibition of pictures of children taken by photographer Oliviero Toscani from the eighties through to his latest campaign for the Benetton spring ’18 collection.
“It’s easier to photograph a war than children,” said Oliviero Toscani on the set of the Benetton Kids Spring/Summer 2018 campaign. “You try photographing four kids against a white background while they shout, cry and call for their mothers.”
Some of Toscani’s most famous campaigns for Benetton portray children: from the photo of a newborn baby with its umbilical cord still attached – which became the cover of the first issue of COLORS magazine – to the Girasoli catalogue, in which all the models were disabled children from a German treatment centre, and the iconic image of an angelic-looking white child embracing a black child whose hair is shaped into devil’s horns.
These and other photographs of girls and boys taken by Toscani for Benetton featured in the exhibition, titled “Non fate i bravi. Le bambine e i bambini Benetton di Oliviero Toscani”. The images were printed and attached onto a three-metre wide reel, which – like a DNA helix – unfurled among the columns of the Palazzo Strozzi courtyard.
The last images on the reel were those Toscani took for the Benetton Kids Spring/Summer 2018 collection.
The collection, already available in United Colors of Benetton’s stores in Florence, marks a return to the brand’s origins: clean, essential design, focus on colours and “back to basic” style. A modern and easy concept that is all about practicality, sense of colour and quality knitwear for kids everywhere. This cheerful fashion takes inspiration from American campus style, Breton stripes and the brand’s heritage, celebrating the global spirit that is United Colors of Benetton’s hallmark.