The paninari were a trend with the youth of Italy in the 1980s. Usually consisting of middle class to upper middle class teens, the paninari was based on public socialization and fashion. In addition, they would hang around fast food restaurants, more specifically the ‘Panino Cafe’ in Milan. They welcomed a consumerist society and a fast food way of life which completely opposed the slow food lifestyle of their elders. As far as fashion goes, they welcome American clothing brands such as Ray Ban, Timberland, and Vans. This adoption of American clothing brands made a statement and the English language influenced a lot of their slang.
Today I almost see the same thing happening but in reverse. I think more and more upper and middle class American youth are adopting foreign fashion brands and embracing the slow food movement. More people my age than ever before are worried about organic food and wearing the next trend. In one of my classes here in Urbino we presented on Prada, Gucci and Versace. To Italians these brands symbolize great Italian design and craftsmanship. In my opinion, in American pop-culture they are viewed as status symbols. Even songs and artists today are incorporating these fashion houses into their names or titles of their work in order to appear luxurious or wealthy. Much like the paninari adopted American brands and the consumerist lifestyle to prove a point, American youth are using luxury fashion brands to showcase their wealth.