Returning to the fashion week just ended (71 fashion shows displaying 68 brands and 53 presentations), however, the high-water mark was the creativity and craftsmanship of the labels on the catwalk and the brands present at the exhibitions in Via Tortona such as Touch, Cloudnine, and White. On a Sunday that saw the parading of Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Ferragamo, and Giorgio Armani, the queue of buyers awaiting accreditation for the halls was quite long. These fairs are the springboard for original and small brands, who attend in order to meet buyers from China, Japan, or Russia.
Moreover, according to Sistema Moda Italia [fashion industry monitor] data, sales in foreign markets contributed to 54.3 percent of sector turnover (in 2011 Italian women's fashion exceeded 12.2 billion euro, thanks to a growth in sales of +4.1 percent). At the same time imports saw an increase of +8.2 percent. Domestic demand, on the other hand, had a negative trend (-3.9 percent) for the fourth consecutive year. “And the Italian market remains the great unknown”, said Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine.
Great consideration, therefore, to foreign buyers, Americans as well as many Japanese sat in the parterre of the shows. Especially by Mila Schön, where a young and talented Bianca Gervasio paraded a fresh and very colourful collection. The re launch of the brand was entrusted by the Japanese group Itochu, owner of the brand, to New Antica Group.
Japan is a protagonist for Prada. Lording it over the collection for next spring and summer are items of an oriental inspiration, i.e. kimonos and wooden wedges. Gucci, whose parade was also attended by Charlotte Casiraghi, focused on bright and sharp colour like yellow and fuchsia and found its way into the heart of Suzy Menkes, who wrote: “Frida Giannini sent out her best show yet for Gucci”.
Versace, however, also celebrated the show with the launch of the flagship online store in Italy, Germany, Great Britain, and France. Directly from the web to the Milan showroom, also the collection of Uniqueness, designed by Alessandra Facchinetti for Pinko. After the success of the pop up store that opened in London during the fashion week, the Italian company may well replicate the initiative.
Much curiosity from dealers about the Ferré fashion show which kept the style of the fashion house with an extra touch of sensuality. The new owner, Paris Group, has already identified the new headquarters and denied rumours of a move of the brand to Dubai. “The new headquarters are located in the fashion district”, Aya Mbanefo, business development director of the brand, told FashionUnited. Meanwhile, the company is developing a retail plan for the brand Ferré with new openings in Russia, Moscow, and the UK.
In terms of accessories this fashion week did not disappoint buyers looking for creativity at commercial prices, as the Furla collection demonstrated once again. Less marketable but esteemed and portable is the first eponymous collection of Eduardo Wongvalle bags, former leather goods creative director for Christian Dior and Bottega Veneta.
From our correspondent in Milan
Photo: Armani and his models