Milan a magnet for labels from all over the world with revamped fashion week
After New York and London, it is Milan’s turn to showcase the latest in fashion design, with a well-balanced programme featuring both signature names and emerging talent. Credit to the Italian National Fashion Chamber (CNMI), which convened a meeting this summer with the main Milanese fashion labels to redesign the week's calendar. As a result, from two to three major labels will be showing on any given day, alternating with medium and small-sized labels, emerging designers and brands from outside Italy, like Boss, Peter Pilotto and a host of Chinese designers. African designers too will be present with a variety of initiatives.
Altogether, from September 17 to 23, Milan’s latest womenswear fashion week, for the Spring/Summer 2020 season, will feature 170 collections and 57 official shows, as opposed to 56 shows last February. Also on the programme, 110 presentations and 54 special events (they were about 30 last season), including several store openings, among them Tod’s, Philipp Plein and MSGM, as well as parties and major events like the ‘Time Capsule’ exhibition, covering Louis Vuitton’s 160-year history, and the third edition of the Oscars for sustainable fashion, the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, bringing the Fashion Week to a close on Sunday 22.
The party kicks off on Tuesday evening with Benetton’s show at the Piscina Cozzi, a swimming venue inaugurated in 1934, with a 33-metre main pool. The show is part of the week’s special events programme, which this season includes no less than another 10 catwalk shows, all of them outside the official calendar.
Long-established Italian label Luisa Spagnoli is part of the special events programme, showing at the Milan Stock Exchange on Friday 20, and so is a posse of Chinese designers, with the show on Thursday by down-jacket specialist Bosideng, and a plethora of younger emerging labels popping up during the week. Not to mention of course some of the major names showing off-calendar, like Dolce & Gabbana on Sunday 22 and Elisabetta Franchi on Friday 20.
For the official calendar, the first highlight is on Wednesday 18, with the show by Peter Pilotto. It will be the maiden Milanese show for the label headed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos, a regular at the London Fashion Week. Also showing on the same day are Prada, N°21 and Jil Sander.
Many eyes will be trained on Boss, the young line by German label Hugo Boss, which will show on Sunday 22. Boss has been featured at the New York Fashion Week since 2014, and is appearing in Milan for the first time, with a co-ed show. Sunday will be the day for another Milanese debut, that of Drome, the label by Italian designer Marianna Rosati, which until now has showed off-calendar in Paris and will celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Also on Sunday 22, there will be the very, very eagerly awaited debut of Chinese designer Shuting Qiu, who first caught the fashion world's eye last year, when the label showed in New York as part of the Vfiles platform, renowned for spotting the hottest talents of the moment. Qiu is based in Antwerp, where she graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and launched her label in 2017, producing powerfully feminine looks with an explosive blend of patterns and vivid colours.
On Thursday 19, it will be the turn of Max Mara, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Moschino and Italian label Vivetta, also starring at the Super show organised by Pitti Immagine, where it will launch its first footwear collection. Vivetta’s show will be followed by that of Simona Marziali, a designer specialised in knitwear, with a 12-year-plus career working for various labels. She will make her big debut in Milan with her own label, MRZ, which she founded in 2002 together with her family's knitwear brand, Marziali.
On Friday 20, the spotlights will zoom in on Versace, Marni, Marco de Vincenzo and especially Frankie Morello, making its official return to the Milan Fashion Week, which it left four years ago. The label recently changed owner, and is starting an entirely new chapter with Croatian designer Damir Doma as creative director.
Another come-back is that of Fila, which will show again in Milan on Sunday, after a remarkable debut show at the Milan Fashion Week last year. Also back on the Milanese catwalks, on Wednesday 18, is Tiziano Guardini, the first winner of the Green Carpet Award in 2017, who opted for a presentation last February.
This array of new names compensates for the seven which dropped out of the official calendar this season, among them Roberto Cavalli, currently in the midst of a take-over. Among emerging labels, Francesca Liberatore will show off-calendar on Tuesday, at the iconic Bagni Misteriosi public pool. The label will present a capsule collection of swimming costumes created with sports brand Arena, and worn by the Italian national Synchronised Swimming team. Italian-Chinese label Ricostru also opted out of a catwalk show, preferring to host a cocktail party/presentation to present its collaboration with Californian footwear brand Skechers.
After the mega event staged in February, Moncler is instead allowing itself a break this season. Simonetta Ravizza will present its latest collection with a video that will be broadcast at the label’s new Milanese store in Via Santo Spirito, where Simonetta Ravizza moved from Via Montenapoleone. Finally, Alberto Zambelli and Byblos will not feature on the calendar.
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