Fine fabrics are the centerpiece of the current Accademia exhibition, which highlights 14th century Florence’s role in textile production and trade. It was in this period that fashion as we know it began to take shape, and the Florentine market—against all odds—brought prestigious wool and silk products to a broader European audience, despite wars, epidemics and social conflicts. Beyond exploring how Florentine industry giants wielded their power artistically and politically, the exhibition highlights influences from Mongolian Asia and the Muslim world. A selection of paintings also illustrates how textiles and dress of the day were depicted in art.