What to Expect From the Upcoming Milan Fashion Week

MILAN — Everything is set for what promises to be a busy Milan Fashion Week, one that will involve the fashion industry but also the public here and there with its packed schedule of 176 appointments between physical and digital fashion shows, presentations and events.

On Thursday, Italian fashion chamber’s chairman Carlo Capasa presented the official calendar running Sept. 19 to 25, which on the runway show front remained mostly unvaried compared to the preliminary schedule released in July.

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The hot tickets will still include a series of much-anticipated debuts, like the one of Sabato De Sarno at Gucci, Tom Ford’s first collection under creative director Peter Hawkings and Simone Bellotti’s seminal collection for Bally.

The Attico will stage its first runway event and Aigner will return to the schedule, while on the presentation front on Sept. 21 another trifecta of debuts will see Fiorucci unveil its new course under Francesca Murri; Jacob Cohën showcase its first main womenswear collection by American designer Matthew Adams Dolan, and Fabiana Filippi kickstarting its new chapter under its first creative director Lucia De Vito.

Other key presentations will include the collaborations by Max & Co. with Sofia Sanchez De Betak Chufy; Weekend Max Mara’s spring 2024 signature collection “Phantasie” by Arthur Arbesser and the Marina Rinaldi by Mary Katrantzou line. Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana, La DoubleJ and Colville will add to the presentations, alongside Swarovski, buzzy footwear company Mach & Mach and brands such as Flower Mountain, Yali and Made for a Woman.

The inaugural day will open with a charity event dubbed “Breast Cancer Fashion Show” and that will involve brands like Act N.1, Andreadamo, Cormio, Magliano and Marco Rambaldi, among others. This will be followed by the Milano Moda Graduate talent scouting competition, the private launch of the “Armani/Fiori” book and the award ceremony of “Maestri d’Eccellenza,” the project dedicated to local master artisans launched by Fendi and its parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton earlier this year. As reported, Calzedonia will also stage a fashion show that evening.

The first full-fledged show day, Sept. 20, will line up the likes of Antonio Marras, which will trade its usual NonostanteMarras show venue to take the fashion crowd on a longer commute with a location in Via Mecenate.

Fendi, Roberto Cavalli and Etro will also show that day, which will be capped off by Diesel. As reported, the denim brand switched its usual lunchtime slot for a 9 p.m. CET coed show, opting once again for an open-to-the-public format. At the same time, Moncler will host a party at Portrait Milano to mark the launch of the Moncler x Pharrell Williams collection, while Max Mara will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its iconic Teddy coat at the Società del Giardino venue.

Prada and Emporio Armani will be among the brands showing on Sept. 21, which will also feature Hawkings’ coed show for Tom Ford at 9 p.m. CET, Moschino’s 40th anniversary runway show and a Dsquared2 cocktail event marking 10 years of its Ceresio 7 location.

The advertising campaign for the upcoming edition of Milan Fashion Week.
The advertising campaign for the upcoming edition of Milan Fashion Week.

Walter Chiapponi will unveil his last collection for Tod’s on Sept. 22, followed by Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini and Sportmax. At 3 p.m. CET, De Sarno’s women’s spring 2024 collection for Gucci will be revealed at last. De Sarno teased the location of the show on his personal Instagram account last month, posting an image showing the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera location on a map and therefore hinting to a drastic change of venue compared to the usual go-to Gucci headquarters in Via Mecenate.

MSGM, Versace and Sunnei earmarked afternoon slots that day, which is to be closed by the Boss coed fall 2023 show. Redemption will also present “Gold,” offering a private preview of a capsule collection.

Ferragamo, Jil Sander, Missoni, Bally and The Attico will all show on Sept. 23, which will end with Matthieu Blazy’s coed spring 2024 collection for Bottega Veneta and the Philipp Plein show.

Chiara Boni La Petite Robe will decamp from New York Fashion Week for a show in Milan on Sept. 24, to be followed by the local debut of Karoline Vitto, the London-based Brazilian designer supported by Dolce & Gabbana as part of the duo’s talent endorsing program previously given to Tomo Koizumi, Matty Bovan and Miss Sohee.

Giorgio Armani will cap off the day with his usual double show at 4 and 5 p.m. CET at his storied headquarters on Via Borgonuovo, followed by the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards 2023, organized by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana in collaboration with the U.N.’s Ethical Fashion Initiative, as reported.

The last day will spotlight digital shows, while the Afro Fashion Association will present the women’s collections of a selection of Black, Indigenous and people of color designers at luxury retailer Modes with the support of Vogue Italia.

Not-to-be-missed exhibitions will further fill the fashion crowd’s agenda, led by the “Luigi & Iango Unveiled” show dedicated to the photographers and staged at Palazzo Reale.

Camera della Moda's president Carlo Capasa; Alessia Cappello, Milan’s assessor for the economic development and labor policies; Matteo Zoppas, president of ICE.
Camera della Moda’s president Carlo Capasa; Alessia Cappello, Milan’s assessor for the economic development and labor policies; and Matteo Zoppas, president of ICE.

Leveraging the impact of Milan Fashion Week on the economy of the whole city, the local municipality estimates that the event will generate more than 80 million euros in sales across restaurants, transportation, hotels and other services, exceeding the 70 million euros sales generated with the edition in February.

The optimistic forecast is further encouraged by the record number of visitors registered in July, when the city welcomed 900,000 people, up 35 percent versus the previous record month in July 2019, before the pandemic.

Yet Capasa was more cautious in offering projections on the overall state of the business for 2023, as he expects sales of the fashion and linked industries (including textiles, clothing, leather goods, footwear, jewelry, eyewear and cosmetics) to grow 4.5 percent to 103.3 billion euros compared to last year. In 2022 sales of the overall sector grew 20.8 percent to 98.8 billion euros versus 2021, when the total turnover also increased more than 20 percent.

The prudent forecast for the current year is due to a slowdown registered in the second quarter of 2023, when sales grew only 3 percent after a strong first quarter, reporting a 11.4 percent increase.

As for exports, in the first five months of 2023 they continued to be a key driver for the industry, increasing 6.5 percent in the core sectors — textiles, clothing, leather goods, footwear — and 15 percent in the jewelry, eyewear and cosmetics categories, compared to the same period last year.

The top destinations for Italian fashion in the period were France, Switzerland and Germany. These were followed by exports to the U.S. and China, which grew 2.8 percent and 18.4 percent respectively.

According to projections, exports of the overall sector are expected to grow 6 percent to 91.5 billion euros in 2023, compared to last year.

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