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MILAN — Costume National is coming back to Italy.
This story first appeared in the July 31, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Ennio Capasa, a newly minted member of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, said Tuesday that he will show his women’s spring collection in Milan in September, after more than 20 years of showing in Paris.
“I thought long and hard about this,” he said, noting that several members of the Italian Chamber had approached him and asked him to consider showing in Italy. “This is not about Italians showing in Italy and the French showing in France. Fashion is a large, international community, and I had this feeling that Italy, which is such a beautiful country, is going through a difficult moment right now. This is a country that the fashion world has always loved. I wanted to help, to show some solidarity,” the designer said, adding, “I couldn’t say no to my country.”
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Capasa said he wasn’t yet sure whether showing in Milan would be a onetime deal or a long-term commitment, but that the decision would be based on “feeling” rather than any business considerations. For now, he’s focused on planning the September show, which he revealed would take place in an “unusual” location that has never before hosted fashion shows. “Italy is very traditional; I wanted to make an innovative gesture,” Capasa explained.
He also said he remained very attached to Paris, which had given him many opportunities as a young designer. “France has a longer history in fashion. In Italy, the first generation of major designers is still around,” Capasa said. “All the world’s fashion capitals need to be strong together. The fashion community is strong when we all are. I don’t believe that Milan needs to surpass Paris or vice versa.”
The recently reorganized Italian Chamber of Fashion has been a hotbed of meetings lately, with many discussions centered on how to bring some sparkle back to Milan. The fact that some major Italian brands, such as Valentino and Miu Miu, show collections in Paris remains a sore point among designers like Giorgio Armani, who is not a member of the chamber.