The hat with the feather, also adopted by us in Ernani’s logo, has a symbolic value of an enormous magnitude, which never before has come back to be felt and appreciated.
But what is the origin of this feathered headdress?
It first appeared in Europe as early as the 16th century, used, however, by the bourgeois class as a symbol of wealth, as the feathers came from exotic birds from the newly colonized territories.
It was also a symbol of modernity and openness to new discoveries, very important stimuli for us at Ernani, as they are the basis of our corporate philosophy.
This fashion disappeared very soon from the bourgeois world and transmigrated to the military and political world.
In 1844 the feathered hat was adopted by revolutionaries during the uprisings against the Bourbon Kingdom, quickly becoming the emblem of resistance to oppression and a sign of recognition among revolutionaries throughout the peninsula.
This spirit of renewal also appealed greatly to Giuseppe Verdi, so much so that he made the protagonist of his opera “Ernani” wear this feathered hat: a heroic bandit, actually a Spanish nobleman, who fights injustice and tyranny. On the evening of March 9, 1844, there was its first performance in Venice, and from that moment on it immediately became an undercurrent of the Risorgimento uprisings. The work resounded with constant calls to fight against the oppressor, exhortations to love of country, and represented the ideals to which many aspired. The exact same ideals of freedom that we now, in 2020, desire.
The feathered hat, in 1848, was banned by Lanzenfeld, director general of the Milan Police of the Habsburg Empire, as it was a display of adherence and support for the cause of Italian independence.
Despite this, Milanese citizens, at the outbreak of the Five Days of Milan, March 18-22, 1848, continued to use it, both men and women.
The first to launch the fashion was Princess Cristina Trivulzio di Belgioioso, a muse of our Risorgimento, represented here.
The hat made its way to one of the most famous and valued corps of the Italian Army: the Alpini.
They, since their establishment in 1872, took up the hat known as the Ernani hat as a symbol of subversion and love of country. It became significant for this reason throughout our national history.
Finally, how can we not mention a painting that is very close to our hearts: “The Kiss” by Hayez.
Painting strongly evocative of meanings that underlie our work, such as passion, love for Italy, overcoming censorship, ideas of freedom and justice.
Even today this is still perceived as real and concrete.
At a time of fragility and insecurity, when we feel disappointed and challenged, we need to recover hope, passion, certainty and genuineness.
The same painting is then taken up and modified, with “dramatic” irony, which well represents the current period that the whole peninsula is going through.