The 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 “the greatest spectacle in racing” is about to begin and we couldn’t help but appreciate the past and current history of Italian auto racing from Monza’s Grand Prix to Italy’s Mille Miglia, a thousand mile open endurance race notorious for fast cars and fatal crashes. Known as la corsa piu bella del mondo the race was first run in 1927 on a route from Brescia to Rome passing through some of the most beautiful cities and scenery in Italy including Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Siena and Mantua. So when we saw a post about a vintage goggle jacket nicknamed the “Mille Miglia” we took a second look.
Made by Massimo Osti (1944–2005), a graphic designer turned garment engineer from Bologna who liked to experiment with fabric (he created a fabric that changed color based on temperature), the jacket is more than race-inspired vintage fashion. Osti’s innovative designs extend well beyond auto racing and the original Mille Miglia goggle jacket has since been reconstructed and reformed in a collaborative partnership with fashion designer Aitor Throup to become a fashion statement and modern classic. The latest version was co-opted by Cuban sculptor, Yoan Capote whose personal interpretation of the Goggle Jacket was exhibited at the 2011 Venice Biennale turning it into a work of art on and off the race course.