Gravity-defying stilettos might be impossibly sexy, but a pair of Pumas is your best bet to survive the nine-day marathon that is Milan show week, a back-to-back schedule of more than 200 events between shows, presentations and parties.
The staffs at Missoni and Moschino are clocking in extra-long hours to prepare their anniversary extravaganzas to celebrate 50 and 20 years in business, respectively.
The Missonis will commemorate their colorful golden career with a retrospective show, right after Angela Missoni’s spring presentation on Sunday morning.
The standard backdrop will be whisked away and replaced with larger-than-life images of stars wearing staple looks that will be projected as that same outfit comes down the catwalk.
The opener will likely be the first wool tracksuit fashioned by Tai Missoni in 1948, followed by the first striped shirtdress, designed by the couple for La Rinascente department store in 1953.
As the last of the 60 looks heads backstage, Missoni’s entire staff of 250 will take the accolades.
Over at Moschino headquarters, set designers are preparing the display featuring areas that represent all the milestones and elements that turned the designer’s laughs into cash. They include tongue-in-cheek takes on Little Red Riding Hood and the circus.
Giorgio Armani, meanwhile, is said to be stepping on the accelerator — literally. During a news conference today, the designer is expected to unveil his latest undertaking: the new Mercedes model CLK cabriolet, designed by Giorgio himself.
But to get things in high gear, Armani is expected to host Beyoncé at his Emporio Armani show Wednesday. The R&B star-turned-style maven is expected to show up at Versace and Ferré, as well.
Armani’s front-row divas certainly have high public profiles, but the designer believes in a little privacy at times. On Wednesday, he’ll inaugurate Armani Privé, a bar-lounge complete with dance floor in the Emporio Armani store in Milan with members-only access.
From a low-key atmosphere to blaring hip-hop: As Fifty Cent croons “Da Club” into the mike throughout his European tour, which includes Milan, the rapper is expected to make a pit stop at the Versace show.
Generally speaking, Versace’s red-carpet ladies are now gushing over something other than their clothes: the Biker bag, or Donatella’s It bag.
“Easy Rider” meets city chic, the style was introduced for fall and spotted tucked under the arms of Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Demi Moore and Queen Rania of Jordan.
It will be the focus accessory on the spring runway, in new-and-improved versions that include leather strips woven into floral lace patterns, fluorescent python and perforated insets.
A Versace spokesman confirmed that the 1,000 units shipped in mid-August sold out, and that 40 percent of the second batch has already left the stores.
Last week’s Burberry store opening upped Milan’s Brit quotient. Now it’s Vivienne Westwood’s turn. The punky, eccentric designer is opening her first store in the Italian city today.
The five-floor space, measuring more than 18,292 square feet on Corso Venezia, will host offices, a showroom and a boutique carrying the Red Label, Anglomania and Gold collections. It also will be the first sales point in Italy to carry the designer’s full range of accessories.
Westwood is embarking on a retail expansion push. Next month, the designer will open a shop in Liverpool and later in the fall, she will cut the ribbon on a boutique in Paris.
For retailers looking for high-end basics with a consumer-friendly price tag, a new line called Cap III fits the bill.
Launched last season, it has already attracted the attention of stores like Isetan in Japan and Milan’s tony Marisa, thanks to high-quality cashmere produced by Arva, a knitwear manufacturer that also serves Marc Jacobs and Missoni. Wholesale prices for pure cashmere sweaters run from $100 to $150.