ROME — Giorgio Armani said Wednesday he will start opening his Milan theater in Via Bergognone to Italy’s new generation of designers.


The first will be Andrea Pompilio, scheduled to show his spring-summer 2014 men’s collection on June 22 at 11:30 a.m. during Men’s Fashion Week.


Following Pompilio, a former winner of the Who’s On Next talent search, Armani in September will provide his runway to a yet-to-be-announced young designer during Women’s Fashion Week as the next step in this long-term program. Each season will feature different guests.

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“It’s time to act, to show that we are doing something for young designers,” said Armani during the unveiling of his newly refurbished Via Condotti boutique in Rome. “We need concrete actions to support Italian fashion, initiatives that give more strength and a feeling of novelty to Milan’s fashion week.”


Pressed by reporters, Armani reiterated that his request for all Italian brands to show in Milan remains a necessary condition for his joining the Italian Chamber of Fashion, while urging designers to “stay compact” and work on extending the city’s fashion week to 10 days, criticizing Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour for “forcing” Italian designers to “change our schedules. How dare she, with such an industry and all the production we have here?”

Without naming her, Armani also hinted at Miuccia Prada¹s reported reasoning behind her choice to show Miu Miu in Paris. “Someone said there was not enough time to produce two runway shows during the same week, but this is a motivation that does not [satisfy] me — I do it,” said Armani. “Someone years ago suggested I show in London, but how long can that last, I have 70 people working on a show, think of the airfares, the hotel bills… I have a major theater here, why should I go show at a bar in Paris?”