MILAN — Giorgio Armani spoke his mind on Thursday — and the gloves may be off again.
As Italy’s fashion brands join forces to revamp Milan Fashion Week, and following Italy’s Chamber of Fashion invitation earlier this week for Armani and Dolce & Gabbana to consider joining the association, the designer explained the reasons behind his decision to remain a nonmember, “for now.” The main one relates to Italian brands that hold their shows outside of Milan.
Underscoring that a note addressed some time ago to the chamber’s president, Mario Boselli, had not been “transferred in any way” to the media, Armani felt that it was nonetheless necessary to clarify his position.
The designer started by explaining that for several years, in response to the chamber’s specific request, he’d scheduled the show for his main collection on a “strategic” day of the calendar — the last, so that the press would stay in Milan until the end of fashion week. RELATED STORY: Brands Aim to Raise Milan's Profile >>
“Naturally, this has over time created different problems, such as, for example, in some cases, the absence of some of the most important journalists from my shows,” noted Armani.
He acknowledged the chamber’s efforts to strengthen Milan’s role and “prestige that it always had in fashion.” Fashion, he said, that is “Italian creativity, and not the events and parties organized in Milan by some Italian brands that show abroad.” Such events, he said, are complementary but not essential.
Armani said the effort to revitalize Milan Fashion Week was “a good initiative” and that he shared the chamber’s goals. However, he said that in order for Milan to be “an important hub of international fashion,” it is necessary for “the most important names in the sector to maintain or [return]” to Milan as the only opportunity to present their lines.
“I realize that this would mean for some brands to review their company policies and to also accept some compromises, the same compromises or sacrifices that I have made so that the shows would last six days. In fact, I have always believed that it was important to avoid being conditioned or pressured from abroad in the organization of our calendar,” said Armani.
The designer added that he was “firmly convinced” it was “absolutely necessary” for relevant brands that are now showing outside of Italy to return to Milan in order to provide “a really important signal.” He stressed that has been a condition for him joining the chamber for years because it would be highly “symbolic of a new spirit” in the sector.
“If maisons such as Gucci and Fendi, now owned by French groups, maintain their shows in Milan, it is a contradiction” that as the Camera plans its relaunch, “not all Italian brands wouldn’t do the same,” said Armani.
The designer concluded by pledging his support for the chamber, its members and Italian fashion in general.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)