Giorgio Armani

MILANGiorgio Armani is once again closing Milans Men’s Fashion Week in January but for the first time he will offer his theater to three international young brands, which will present their collections consecutively and ahead of his own show, scheduled at noon.

“Milan is going through a moment of huge aesthetic, cultural and creative ferment, of which fashion is an active part. That is why I decided to expand and structure my initiative in support of the most talented designers to establish a unique and exciting day in Milan’s schedule,” said Armani, who has for some years allowed a designer each season to show at his Teatro. “I like the idea of giving more than one brand the chance to present their work during this event, leaving all the expressivity to the looks without any big set-up, and I hope that it will add momentum to their career, as it did to mine.”

Armani was referring to his own beginnings when he designed collections for women’s wear brands Montedoro, Sicons  and Tendresse in 1974 that showed at Palazzo Pitti’s Sala Bianca.

The designers showing on Jan. 17 are Moto Guo, from Malaysia; Consistence, from China and Taiwan; and Yoshio Kubo, from Japan.

The event is being held in collaboration with Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda and the association’s president, Carlo Capasa, defined it as a “happening,” which is meant “to highlight the generational change taking place and to contribute to the internationalization of Milan’s schedule, proposing talents from different parts of the world.”

Capasa remarked on the “strong signal” Armani is giving with this project and by moving his show later in the day to the noon slot. He expressed his confidence in “the curiosity” the event will draw, which is expected to contribute to press and retailers delaying their departure from Milan as they head to Paris.

Consistence is a men’s wear brand founded in London in 2014 and designed by Fang Fang and Tien Lu. Yoshio Kubo graduated from the University of Philadelphia in 2000 and after gaining experience in haute couture in New York returned to Japan, where he founded the namesake brand, unveiling it in Tokyo for spring/summer 2009. Moto Guo was founded in 2015 by the eponymous designer, who showed the collection in Milan in June.

Capasa said the calendar was “more innovative and international” this season. He ticked off new entries Billionaire, Cédric Charlier, Federico Curradi, Malibu 1992, Palm Angels, Plein Sport and Wood Wood, selected from the White trade show. Returns to Milan include Ermenegildo Zegna, kicking off the week on Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. and marking Alessandro Sartori’s debut collection for the brand; Antonio Marras; Frankie Morello; Moschino; and N.21.

Some of the brands, he said, will show men’s and women’s together such as Moschino, presenting its women’s pre-fall lineup; Marcelo Burlon;  Damir Doma; Dsquared2; and Charlier. Capasa observed that companies that are more wholesale-oriented are moving their shows together up to Men’s Fashion Week in January and June, while those that are more retail-oriented move later to Women’s Fashion Week in February and September. As reported, Gucci and Bottega Veneta will show both divisions together in February.

“The Camera is creating a container where every brand is free to express their creativity. There is no one single rule for everyone, so we offer a frame, flexibility and our services,” said Capasa. As reported, Alberta Ferretti will also show her pre-fall and demi-couture lines on Jan. 13.

Asked about whether he believed newly appointed Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni could be opening Milan Fashion Week in February as his predecessor Matteo Renzi did, Capasa said it was too early to say, but remarked on the comments the latter made in September. “Renzi believed in the importance of the fashion industry in Italy and said he hoped that whoever would succeed him would also do so, continuing in his path, and put fashion at the center of his economic program,” said Capasa, who has never met Gentiloni.