WATCH YOUR WORDS: The Italian fashion industry did not take well to a Le Figaro article posted on Tuesday evening. Not surprising, since the headline read “Milan Fashion Week: chronicle of an announced fiasco.”
The subhead was not much better: “Defection of brands, cancellation of shows replaced by digital presentations, strengthened health measures, social distancing: nothing is spared the calendar.”
“The headline is wrong, we all know this is a difficult moment, and the pandemic has limited the number of visitors but we must join forces all together with energy as an industry and a community,” Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian Camera della Moda, told WWD ahead of the Etro show on Thursday afternoon — one of the 23 physical shows being held this week, together with Fendi, Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara, among others, and 60 live presentations.
“I see people are happy to be around, there are more than 150 foreign journalists from different countries, as well as buyers, we are all trying to do our best, as New York and London have done before us, and as Paris will do after us, and I wish them all the best. Rather than throwing out attention-grabbing headlines with no foundations, we must stay united, give a positive signal to a community that embraces the whole world and we must be resilient. This is the situation we are living in and to this we must respond, as we don’t know for how long it will last. This is what Italian brands are doing now and all this has an echo around the world as millions of people have been connecting online to see the shows here. It’s an energy that is transmitted also digitally,” Capasa added.
While showgoers and social media responded angrily to the Le Figaro article, considering it unfair and also seen as a spiteful response to Italy’s decision earlier this week through its Minister of Health to request travelers coming from France to take a COVID-19 test, Capasa underscored he did not think this was the time to be polemic, but to cooperate to safeguard the entire fashion industry.