MILAN — Giorgio Armani was feeling feisty on Monday, taking on some of his favorite targets at his postshow press conference: Anna Wintour, other Italian designers and the Camera della Moda.
His combative mood appeared to be triggered by the noticeable absence of Vogue’s editor in chief from his front row earlier in the morning.
“There are some who prefer to snub the Giorgio Armani show and go to Paris,” he said. Although the designer didn’t name names, there was little mystery as to whom he was referring.
“She took an airplane, dumped Mr. Armani and went to Paris,” continued Armani, who, in the past, has strongly criticized Wintour, accusing her of attempting to truncate Milan Fashion Week’s schedule and forcing designers to change their show dates. RELATED STORY: Giorgio Armani RTW Fall 2014 >>
According to Armani, Wintour’s absence was due to the fact that he is the only major designer to show on the last day of Milan Fashion Week.
“Anna has the greatest respect for Giorgio Armani and everything he has done for Italy and fashion worldwide,” Vogue communications director Hildy Kuryk told WWD later in the afternoon. “Unfortunately, with the fashion calendar now running for more than a month, there are some shows that Anna is not able to attend.”
“When we decided to show the last day, other big brands were involved. But currently this is an empty day,” Armani said, accusing the Italian Fashion Chamber of inefficiency. “Does this mean protecting the Italian fashion? Where is the Camera? I rejoined it but I can always exit again. I can just put in a phone call….”
Armani couldn’t rein in his anger, nor his disappointment. “Why should I always be the moron [translating from an Italian expletive] to be penalized because of a person, who, for better or for worse, like or dislike it, is powerful? I feel penalized,” he noted. “She said she was sending her people. But if you go to see your dentist and he puts you in the hands of his assistant, what’s your reaction? They told me ‘She went to see the Privé in Paris; she has no time to see the ready-to-wear in Milan.’ She is influential and powerful. But, perhaps, I’m influential as well.”
A possible solution to keep power people in Milan for the duration of the shows could be to “take turns in showing on the last day,” Armani suggested.
“This is not an option,” retorted Camera della Moda president Mario Boselli, reached by phone later in the day. “But we met Mr. Armani earlier and he is totally fine now. In a certain way, it’s right that the important journalists stay until the end of the week, and next season, we will try to guarantee the presence of other big brands the last day.”
Armani set the tone for the press conference from the moment he sat down, needling the competition with Italian journalists: “I wanted to bring an owl with me this morning,” a reference to Dolce & Gabbana’s collection, which featured looks decorated with nocturnal birds of prey.
Armani spared no words in criticizing other Italian brands’ approach to fashion. “I think that the exaltation of the idea that designers can be just completely free to express their fantasy is really dangerous,” he said. “I’m very happy that others do what they do. I respect my colleagues. I’m happy with what I do, but I feel like a black swan in doing clothes with a function and with an attention to the commercial aspect.
“It’s very easy to do a V-neck dress with a bold print. It’s more difficult to make a suit or a jacket look new. It’s easier to freewheel,” he continued, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to this season’s Prada collection.
According to Armani, focusing on pure creativity and setting aside the business vision, Italy’s fashion companies cannot insist on receiving concrete help by the nation’s government institutions.
“Nobody is courageous enough to say that if the fashion industry wants to be supported by the Italian government, we have to offer a product which is not only smoke and mirrors but that has a functionality and can bring economic results,” he said. “Otherwise, fashion loses its credibility.
“We should talk about economy, competition. Others are copying us,” Armani pointed out, mentioning the case of “a store on Via Montenapoleone, which sells the same clothes I did 10 years ago.” The designer confirmed to journalists at the press conference that he was referring to Giada, a Chinese-backed Italian fashion label.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia