MILAN — Milan Fashion Week is cutting back.

This story first appeared in the February 5, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

While still tentative, the week’s calendar is beginning to take shape and is shedding its last day. From an eight-day run ending March 4, the shows are now scheduled to take place from Feb. 25 to March 3. The last day will be dedicated to less international brands, with Versace wrapping up the week on March 2 with two evening shows.

“This is a one-off change,” said Mario Boselli, head of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, who attributed the contraction to the economy and, as a consequence, some fashion houses dropping out this season. “We are not obstinate in stretching the schedule. It was useless to keep a half-empty day. Hopefully, the crisis is temporary, so we plan to resume the eight-day week.”

Boselli also said Milan Men’s Fashion Week last month reflected “a panicky” situation, with a 20 percent decline in the number of shows, while the women’s wear schedule may see a 10 percent drop-off. While subject to change, some houses opted for a presentation rather than a show, such as Trussardi and La Perla. Derercuny and Cividini will likely also scale down to a presentation, while Alberto Biani is moving to Paris, where he will hold a presentation March 8.

With the first day of the calendar dedicated to new designers, the season really begins on Feb. 26 with Blugirl, Just Cavalli, two Emporio Armani and Missoni shows and Moschino Cheap and Chic. The following day, Giorgio Armani, Gianfranco Ferré and Jil Sander will hold two fashion shows each, while Ermanno Scervino, C’N’C Costume National, Burberry Prorsum and Alberta Ferretti are penciled in with one show. On Feb. 28, Gucci will be the only house holding two shows, following Bottega Veneta, Blumarine, Sportmax, Pucci, Moschino and Krizia, and before Brioni and Alessandro Dell’Acqua. Antonio Marras, Roberto Cavalli, Etro, Salvatore Ferragamo and Pringle of Scotland will show on March 1, with Prada holding two shows in the slot before Aquilano and Rimondi, designed by the Gianfrano Ferré creative duo.

The following day, Fendi will likely hold one show, following DSquared and Max Mara, and before Versace. D&G and Dolce & Gabbana are once again off calendar on Feb. 27 and March 2, respectively, as is Marni, whose show date was not available at press time. As for related events, Roberto Cavalli will fete the launch of his first namesake-branded MasterCard with a dinner and a party on the evening of March 1. Kenzo, Blugirl and Blumarine boutiques are also set to open during fashion week.