It was the 90s and there was "Grande Migliore": who remembers the Palermo of its heyday

It was the 90s and there was “Grande Migliore”: who remembers the Palermo of its heyday

An era in which there were brands such as Miraglia, Spatafora, Ellepi and MrFantasy in the city. How has the city changed, where craftsmanship and creative recycling reign today

TO Palermo, in the 90s, the lira triumphed. Many remember them as the golden years. In fact, those years were nothing more than a reflection of a start to the economic boom that happened in the 1960s.

And that well-being lasted until just before the 2000 era arrived, the one that would forever devastate an entire economy.

In Palermo there was a circuit full of liquidity, Palermo ideas and never ending brands. An era distant from that of franchising and globalization, but stories of Palermo families, empires and brands that have made an era.

There were the others, we were there, in absolute peace. We were all or almost all before our generational future migrated to Milan or London.

There was an Italy with a thriving trade and not an Italian victim of two great world powers. There was Spataforathe history of footwear in Palermo, a large family that had established itself between identity and entrepreneurship.

A noble and corporate lineage that had its roots since 1796 with sales points throughout the city including the “gold” one, the “Napoleon” shop in piazzale Hungary first and then via Libertà.

There was Miragliathe most retro 60s idea of ​​”knitwear” in Palermo, born from the merchant Alfredo Miraglia with a small shop in via Maqueda who became a well-known entrepreneur capable of having created a network of beautiful shops from one point of the city to the other with a headquarters in the emerging industrial area of ​​via Ugo La Malfa, complete with a company shop.

It was not only the “knitwear” par excellence but also Triunph underwear and sheer tights for women and then again up to children’s clothing with an “M” identifying logo.

A city, always without factories, which had evolved in the tertiary sector, from Grande Migliore to Spatafora, from Ugony to Patania. Bla Bla, Tilt and Sweetly Monstrous. Miraglia, Mr Fantasy, Ellepi and Diskery, Sigros and Città Mercato.

Gregory; if Battaglia. The boys dreamed in color, and no sector was in crisis. The novelty of the mobile phone was upon us, but the enthusiasm reigned to make things go big always with the family businesses, from grandfather to grandson, from generation to generation.

There was a plain paper fax machine and a modem that could transmit sensitive data with privacy and care. A moped insurance policy cost about ninety thousand dollars for a year and a normal life seemed possible.

After all, an example of a Palermo family was the one made up of 4 people, with a house owned by them in Viale Strasburgo and another by the sea in Mondello or Punta Raisi.

Two cars and two motorcycles. There were intuitive, revolutionary, unconventional minds such as Michele Brucoli from Palermo, brilliant and entrepreneur of “Dolcemente Monstrous”.

It was a real talent to create a brand around the concept of “laughter”. From a lot of laughter, the sack that you stirred it up, sounds of laughter of all kinds, to the series of objects of “sexual satire”, to the sensational certificates, and of these the most sold was “Certificate of Great Asshole”.

And there was Big Best a place in Palermo where the departments followed one another like in a carousel: housewares, electricity, music, appliances, school, games, Christmas trees, decorations and a thousand ideas, always new, always Italian, always Palermo.

Large, crowded with Palermo, illuminated with warm light, with corridors that if you crossed them was a constant greeting. There was also green furniture for the gardens and an ethnic furniture showroom.

An avant-garde department store born from the experience of a family that since the 1940s had specialized in the trade of electrical material with small shops scattered around the city, from via Umberto Giordano to via Generale Di Maria.

The “Grande Migliore” triumphed in a nice slice of the Sicilian Region avenue, a new area, the area that goes from Viale Micheangelo to the bridge on Via Belgio, and was born in 1985.

There was more of everything, there was work, jobs, everything for families, professionals, businesses. There was a manager who walked around the departments pleased and who had what had sold out to be replaced. There was a specialized staff who explained the operation of the new stereos, televisions, CD players, VCRs and all that was new.

There was pride and passion in the looks of those who proudly, with a white coat and a “Big Best” plaque, welcomed buyers with a great arrival and the happiness of living a good job. There were queues of customers happy to wait even for a regular invoice. Mileage rows of Palermitans happy to shop.

During parties there was a staff at the warehouse entrance to wrap lots of gifts for free with a personalized red Christmas paper. The company was literally on its knees in 2013 and more than 200 workers remained at home.

On February 28, 2002, our beloved lira gave way to the Euro with everything that followed. Today there is a Old Town with an awakening.

They are the ones who populate it, the former employees of the past, who have reinvented themselves in a passion, attitude, virtue. They have expired in an absent present. The little has stimulated the minds. It is the Palermo of Start-ups. There Creative Palermo.

Today, instead of designer shoe and jewelry shops, there is the craftsmanship and creative recycling of the people of Palermo. And even if it is a city that has become multiethnic between an Indian shop, a Moroccan one, and a myriad of Chinese emporiums, there is a laboratory of local art at the service of tourism.

Santa Rosalia has become the icon of luxury lamps and jewels, all rigorously handmade by them, the Palermitans who have remained.

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