Giorgia Meloni and the Politics of Power Dressing
The first female prime minister of Italy wears Armani.
It began in late October, when Giorgia Meloni, the founder of the hard-right Brothers of Italy party and the leader of the conservative coalition that won the national election, wore three dark Armani pantsuits on the three days of formal transition of power from Mario Draghi’s government to her own. She wore an Armani with a black shirt for her first official photograph with her ministers, an Armani with a white shirt for her handover meeting with Mr. Draghi and a navy blue Armani in between. And so it continued.
Ms. Meloni wore an Armani suit during a news conference after the first meeting of her cabinet, when she announced, among other things, new crackdowns on illegal late-night raves. And she appeared in Armani again for her first meeting with European Union leaders in Brussels last week.
She has worn Armani so often in such a relatively short time that, along with her ironed-straight blond bob (which itself has become something of a trend, and catapulted her hairstylist into the public eye), the look is starting to seem like a uniform of the office. One that is both more significant and less obvious than it may at first appear.
More significant because Ms. Meloni is redefining the image of Italy for the world, and in that context, every choice matters. That includes the choice to align herself visually with the comfortingly familiar wardrobe of captains of industry and with a brand that is a pillar of the power-dressing establishment — a decision that makes her seem less like a radical change than her often vitriolic populism, policies and gender may otherwise suggest.