MILAN — “We have returned coolness to Milan Fashion Week,” claimed Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana on Tuesday. “Coolness comes from the promotion of novelty, new stimuli and new brands. And Milan is once again at the center of international attention.”
Ahead of the city’s men’s shows running June 17 to 21, the board of Italy’s fashion association confirmed Capasa in his role and elected, or in some cases reelected, the members of the presidency committee with a mandate until 2018. In addition to Capasa, the board is made up of executives and designers from the country’s main fashion groups: Patrizio Bertelli, Lavinia Cigna Biagiotti, Marco Bizzarri, Brunello Cucinelli, Jacopo Etro, Giovanna Gentile Ferragamo, Massimo Ferretti, Luigi Maramotti, Angela Missoni, Renzo Rosso, Stefano Sassi, Carla Sozzani, Maria Luisa Gavazzeni Trussardi and Gildo Zegna.
“This has been a significant year for the Camera,” said Capasa, who underscored the work done on several of the association’s pillars, such as sustainability, digitalization, young designers and the relations with national and international institutions.
One such project is called Fashion Lab, in collaboration with Italy’s bank UniCredit, which will help 20 fashion brands with a business plan, cash flow, analysis of production and distribution as well as digital communication. Their collections will be on display in the windows of the La Rinascente department store for two weeks in October. “We will also put them in contact with potential investors. It’s a new unique project that allows to access the working world,” explained Capasa.
Capasa weighed in on topics of the moment, such as co-ed shows. “The world is evolving, but we will preserve the men’s and women’s fashion weeks — both are important,” he said, noting that there are brands where there are different designers for each category, and how the divisions do not overlap in many cases. “We want to provide brands with the option to experiment and we realized there is no one single path for everyone — it’s individual. In the case of Gucci, there is an overlap, and it makes sense. For Dior, I don’t think so. There is space for everyone.”
He reiterated that the see-now-buy-now option is not viable for the majority of Italian luxury brands, nor for young designers. “Fashion is about creating dreams, not the satisfaction of needs.”
There is no denying there are some gaps in the men’s calendar this season, with Bottega Veneta, for example, showing men’s and women’s together in September to mark the brand’s 50th anniversary, or Ermenegildo Zegna sitting out the week as it waits for new creative director Alessandro Sartori. However, Capasa highlighted the “individual reasons” for the brands that will not show this season and said between presentations and shows, there are 84 events managed by the Camera, compared with 79 last year.
“There are two or three shows less but more events,” he said. “The important thing is to challenge yourself and ask questions. In the past, we had been accused of not changing. Well, now it’s different. There’s a lot of energy this season, which offers new opportunities,” he said.
Ports 1961 and Dsquared2 start the week on June 17, closed by Giorgio Armani and a summit on the future of fashion organized by the Camera.
Also, in 2017, the association is working at combining as many fashion trade shows and shows as possible. “We are looking at spaces and ways to do this, it’s absurd to do it otherwise. There will be some cool surprises in September,” said Capasa.