Diane Von Furstenburg, President of the CFDA

Paris Fashion Week ended less than a week ago, and already the drama has begun. Usually, it is about designers switching houses or editors at magazines. Well, not this year. The issue comes from Milan.

Fashion weeks are orchestrated by a reigning fashion authority of some sort that determines the parameters of the industry within each country or city. For example, in the US, the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) makes major decisions about helping young designers and nurturing the industry in America. The BFC (British Fashion Council) serves the same purpose in the United Kingdom, and so on.

Days after the conclusion of fashion week, the Camera Nazionale della Moda (Milan’s equivalent of the BFC and CFDA) announced the dates for Milan Fashion Week’s 2013 spring collections. The dates are September 19-25, which would push up Milan FW a whole week, therefore, intruding on the end of New York FW and essentially overlapping with London FW.

The reasoning behind the move is production issues. Apparently, the Camera Nazionale feels that the production schedule is difficult to execute with the current dates. This makes little to no sense because Paris FW falls a week after Milan, and designers have always been able to produce their garments in time for stores.

This entire drama mostly affects NY and London, which have been caught completely off guard by Milan’s announcement. NYFW runs the full week; whereas, London only runs five days. But, with this new schedule, London would essentially be destroyed. Most of the designers who show in London are younger and the city has fewer established houses than Milan or Paris. Therefore, if editors were to choose, they would probably put Milan shows over London shows.

So, how is it possible that Milan can just up and decide to completely topple over the entire fashion week system? As of now, there is little that can be done. In 2008, there was an agreement that decided the order in which the cities would show. New York was to go first, starting the second Thursday in September, followed by London, Milan and Paris.

But now, Milan is claiming that there is no written proof of this agreement. Milan seems to be standing firm, despite the outrage from NY and London. Paris does not seem to care since this doesn’t affect its shows. Who it does affect is the press.

Jonathan Newhouse, International chairman of Condé Nast wrote a letter to Mario Boselli, the head of the Milan Chamber of Fashion (Camera Nazionale) threatening to prohibit the attendance of any Condé Nast staff if Milan maintained these new dates. This is a serious threat considering Condé Nast owns Vogue, and not just American Vogue, but all international publications of Vogue. Also under the Condé Nast umbrella are W, Glamour, GQ and Details. That pretty much takes away coverage of Milan FW from the most important publications.

This is still unfolding, but something is going to have to give. To be honest, I hope Milan gives in.

-Nadjma Sako

  1. fashion says:

    informative post.I like this,thanks for sharing.Very nice and

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