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Milan Fashion Week ignites the catwalks despite cautious outlook

Milan Fashion Week ignites the catwalks despite cautious outlook

 


Milan (AFP) The fashion scene moved to Italy on Wednesday for Milan Fashion Week, marked by a new designer at Moschino but which took place in an uncertain context for luxury.

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Women's shows from Fendi, Prada, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, among others, promise a dose of festivity and frilly in the fashion capital of northern Italy.

After fashion weeks in New York and London, Milan is once again in the spotlight, with 56 shows until Sunday on the fall-winter 2024-2025 calendar.

But they come against a backdrop of uncertainty in the global luxury fashion market.

Moderate growth projections, inflation concerns, an economic slowdown in China and geopolitical risk are all weighing on the sector.

According to McKinsey's State of Fashion report released in November, this year it is expected to grow globally by only 3-5%.

This is down from estimates of five to seven percent for 2023.

The Italian fashion sector includes clothing and leather, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and accessories. It rose 4 percent last year to nearly 103 billion euros ($110 billion), according to estimates by Italy's National Fashion Chamber.

The association's president, Carlo Capasa, said it was too early to know how the sector would perform in 2024.

“It’s a complex year, it will take resilience,” Capasa told reporters earlier this month.

“We know there are three wars, European and American elections. It's a year of transition.”

The Glitterati gather

But frayed nerves are rarely exposed in the front rows, as the glitterati gather.

Wednesday's shows include Fendi, Diesel, Alberta Ferretti and Roberto Cavalli.

And despite an uncertain outlook, more than 100,000 people – buyers, media and brand representatives – are expected at this week's shows, up 10 percent from last February, Capasa said.

Thursday's debut collection from Adrian Appiolaza for Moschino will be at the top of fashion watchers' lists.

The Argentine designer, previously at Loewe, was named creative director of the irreverent, pop-influenced brand last month following the death of his predecessor, just ten days after taking up the role.

Gucci veteran Davide Renne, who died in November, was recruited when Jeremy Scott resigned after a decade at the helm of the house.

Founded by Franco Moschino, the brand is known for its playful and quirky creations, often embellished with slogans – such as “Gilt without Guilt” or “Good Taste Doesn't Exist” – or references to iconic consumer brands, from McDonald's to Barbie.

The first collections are also expected from Walter Chiapponi at Blumarine
The first collections are also expected from Walter Chiapponi at Blumarine GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Debut collections are also expected from Walter Chiapponi at Blumarine – the seductive, heavy denim brand previously run by Nicola Brognano – and Matteo Tamburini at Tod's.

Chiapponi had been creative director at Tod's since 2019, and upon his departure he was replaced by Tamburini, Bottega Veneta's latest head of ready-to-wear.

In a nod to Milan Fashion Week's many Asian fans, Tuesday night's launch events included the launch of Maison Yoshiki, the brand started by Japanese rock star Yoshiki Hayashi.

With the 58-year-old former frontman of the heavy metal band

Yoshiki, who goes by his first name, has already put his name on wine, energy drinks, kimonos and even a bold Hello Kitty twin, Yoshikitty.

He described his new fashion line as a “feminine but also genderless collection, flamboyant with a rebellious touch.”

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