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Milan Back to Longer Show Schedule

Milan Fashion Week is going back to a longer schedule, returning to seven days from September's five, after the shorter schedule drew protests.

MILAN — Milan Fashion Week is going back to a longer schedule.

The Camera della Moda has confirmed the schedule will return to seven days from last September’s five days. The shorter schedule drew waves of protests from buyers and editors, who complained about how grueling it was and how late the shows ran as a result.

Milan Fashion Week has now been scheduled through 2008. Next year, it will run from Feb. 18 to 26 and from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1. In 2007, the shows will run from Feb. 17 to 25 and from Sept. 22 to 30. In 2008, from Feb. 16 to 24 and from Sept. 20 to 28.

Mario Boselli, head of the Camera della Moda, who has repeatedly voiced his displeasure with last fall’s schedule, was especially happy designers are agreeing to return to a seven-day fashion week. “While we are not going back to an 11-day schedule, we are aiming at a more balanced, stronger seven-day week, which is the minimum required for our needs,” he said.

“There is goodwill among designers,” said Vittorio Missoni. “There really was so much unhappiness about the calendar.”

Clarice Pecori Giraldi, head of worldwide communications at Salvatore Ferragamo, concurred: “It is pivotal to regulate the schedule so that we can all work better.”

For the runway shows, the Italian Chamber of Fashion has secured a venue at the recently renovated Congress Center here in Via Gattamelata once the current fairgrounds are dismantled this spring. This is an interim solution until the future fashion area near trendy Corso Como, the Città della Moda, is completed in 2009.

Many of Milan’s fashion exhibitions, such as Mipel, already have moved to the Rho-Pero fairgrounds outside the city, and will remain there.

In a phone interview, Boselli said he was pleased with the agreement, having pushed for it for the past two years. “The Congress Center is more in line with our needs, and the fixtures are more elegant,” said Boselli, pointing to the solid wood floors in the foyer, the crystal glass windows and stainless steel installations.

The Congress Center houses three spaces seating 1,200 and two spaces seating between 400 and 600 guests. The Camera is planning on building a sixth venue destined for runway shows.

“The pavilions are new and larger and are well-serviced,” said Missoni, whose company was a regular at the fairgrounds.

“This is an important turning point for us and we are sending a message of continuity,” added Boselli.

Boselli downplayed any conflict with the Winter Olympics, which will be held Feb. 10 to 26 in Turin. “I don’t see any relation; it’s all about different industries, different cities and different venues,” he said.

Boselli also said the Camera is sponsoring a new event called Milano Moda Showroom, to be held in the last week of January. The association will coordinate, support and highlight the presentations of the pre-collections out of the designers’ showrooms in Milan. “This is a fantastic new appointment and it will really help the industry as it answers a specific market request,” said Boselli, noting the Camera is thinking of replicating the event in July.