From Milan San Babila to the Mass Culture
We are in Piazza San Babila, the vibrant center of the famous ‘Milano da bere’.
Here, a large group of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 have gathered for the opening of the first Italian Fast Food restaurant – the Burghy – from which the first subculture born in Italy, the Paninari, will spread.
They listen to English-speaking music, especially Duran Duran, the Pet Shop Boys and the Beastie Boys.
The latter are three rappers from the American upper class who lightly sing about the ephemeral needs of modern kids, such as buying new Superstars or taking part in the coolest parties; they are the antithesis of the emerging figures of anti-materialist or politically committed hip hop, those who denounce the poverty and marginalization of the ghetto to the sound of ‘bars’.
The cultural reference of the Paninari to the Beastie is not casual, but of fundamental importance to understand the social status in which they move: they are the sons of the wealthiest families in Milan, they live their condition with haughtiness, winking at the consumerism made in USA.
The Paninari wear expensive clothes, lead the life of a scion, and introduce sportswear into the urban lifestyle – like the padded Moncler sleeveless jacket or Best Company sweatshirts – which they usually wear during their skiing vacations in Cortina or Courmayeur.