Francesco Rossini
Esterina Nervino


This article focuses on the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of D&G held in Naples in June 2016. For this event iconic places of the city were used as the backdrop of the Alta Moda Fall/Winter 2016 collection. For a few days, access to different areas of ‘Centro Storico’ (the Neapolitan’s downtown) were closed to the general public generating controversial opinions on the phenomenon of privatization of the public space.
The study presents an empirical analysis of the video produced for the event and it focuses on the elements that characterize Naples as a cultural artifact capturing the authenticity of Southern Italy and simultaneously meeting the brand values of D&G. The findings revealed how the urban space becomes a tool to emphasize the core values of the fashion brand and how this process enhances the image of the city as a historical and cultural center, essence of Mediterranean and Italian culture. 


How to Cite
Rossini, F. and Nervino, E. (2019) “City Branding and Public Space: An empirical analysis of Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda event in Naples”, The Journal of Public Space, 4(4), pp. 61–82. doi: 10.32891/jps.v4i4.1234.
Author Biographies

Francesco Rossini, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Francesco Rossini is an architect and urban designer and since 2013 he is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). At CUHK, Francesco contributes to teaching in both the Undergraduate and Master programs, and over the years he has developed a comprehensive approach where research, teaching, and design are mutually related and interconnected. Since 2019, Francesco is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Columbia GSAPP’s Urban Planning program.
Francesco graduated with honors from the faculty of Architecture of University of Napoli Federico II obtaining a master’s degree in architecture. In 2014, he completed (cum laude) his Ph.D. in Urbanism from Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona Tech UPC), where he explored the role of public spaces in private developments in Hong Kong. During his doctoral studies, he was awarded a grant by the Ministry of Education of the Government of Spain. Before joining CUHK, Francesco Rossini has participated in different research programs, collaborating with the University of Napoli Federico II, Politecnico di Milano, Barcelona Tech UPC, and Tongji University in Shanghai.

Esterina Nervino, Universita' degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

Esterina Nervino is currently Junior Adjunct Professor of Intercultural Communication and Language Variation at the Department of Studies on Language and Culture of the Universita’ degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy. She holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. Her research interests include luxury and art, luxury and space, luxury and CSR, country of origin effect and language use, retail experience, intercultural communication.
She has holds a M.A. in Foreign Languages for Business Communication from the Universita’ degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy), a B.A. in Language Mediation from the Universita’ degli Studi della Calabria (Italy), and has also studied at the University of Cambridge (UK) and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Besides her academic interests, Esterina is currently the Director of Retail in Asia (part of Bluebell Group) and is in charge of the media brand operations including content selection, curation, edition, and media strategy.
Prior to Retail in Asia, she taught media and business communication at the university level, and worked for Italian companies in fashion and tourism. She is often invited to share her expertise on luxury and fashion branding in different public and private institutions.


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