Audiences are back in Milan as Italian fashion seeks to ‘reborn’
Taxis and courtesy cars, street style and front row stars return to Milan on Wednesday as Fashion Week returns with a predominantly live audience for the first time in 18 months.
Fendi, Prada, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Ferragamo, Etro … almost all the big fashion houses have opted for in-person catwalks for the women’s spring / summer 2022 collections.
Out of 65 shows over the next five days, 43 will have a physical audience, as will 77 of the 98 presentations – and many parties are returning.
However, the Covid-19 will always make its presence felt. Guests will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test and wear masks.
Many buyers and journalists are unable to travel to Milan due to current travel restrictions and the number of event participants is limited.
With many shows dubbed “more intimate,” there is no sign of a return to the budget blockbusters of previous years yet.
However, this season is full of new things. Roberto Cavalli is back, under the direction of new artistic director Fausto Puglisi, while MM6 Maison Margiela and Luisa Spagnoli present for the first time.
Gucci is not on the catwalk program in Milan but will unveil a new project called The Vault, while Giorgio Armani celebrates 40 years of his Emporio line with a retrospective exhibition.
– ‘Moment of rebirth’ –
Italy was the first European country to face a wave of coronavirus cases in February 2020, triggering a nationwide lockdown that plunged the eurozone’s third-largest economy into recession.
But a successful vaccination campaign raised hopes of a return to some sort of normalcy and economic growth.
Carlo Ferro, President of the Italian Trade Agency, said that the resumption of physical events at Milan Fashion Week “comes against the backdrop of an economic recovery and shows the courage of the organizers, the tenacity of the companies and the support of Italian industry ”.
The figures for the Italian fashion industry – including the textile, clothing, leather, footwear and leather goods sectors – are encouraging, with first quarter 2021 turnover rising by 24% compared to the same period in 2020.
It’s still 15% lower than it was before the pandemic, but industry players are hoping that a sharp increase in orders will make up some of the difference by the end of the year.
This week’s collections “mark a moment of rebirth,” said Carlo Capasa, president of the national Italian fashion chamber, CNMI.
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