Giorgio Armani, one of the most talented, iconic and successful designers of our time, often surprises us in interviews by expressing so much dissatisfaction with the fashion industry–particularly in Milan.
He’s lamented having to give up his life to be successful, slammed his fellow designers for being vulgar, and editors for paying more attention to designers like McQueen, Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada, than to him.
Today, in an effort to bolster Milan Fashion Week, Armani announced he will host a runway show for a young Italian designer at his theater every season, starting with Pitti Uomo darling Andrea Pompilio. “We need concrete actions to support Italian fashion, initiatives that give more strength and a feeling of novelty to Milan’s fashion week,” he told WWD.
Armani also reiterated he wants all Italian brands to show in Milan and also wants Milan Fashion Week extended to 10 days (Uh-oh. Does this mean we’re in for another fashion week calendar war?). He never mentions any specific names of designers–perhaps he’s learned his lesson?–but it’s pretty obvious whom he’s referring to when he says, “Someone said there was not enough time to produce two runway shows during the same week, but this is a motivation that does not [satisfy] me — I do it.”
Just a couple of weeks ago, Prada Group chief executive officer (and Miuccia Prada’s husband) Patrizio Bertelli told WWD that Miu Miu would never show in Milan simply because “it is materially impossible to create two shows a couple of days apart.” Prada added, “It’s the way we work, it’s impossible, nobody does it.”
That Armani would throw a dig at Prada is somewhat ironic, as she would probably agree with him on most other counts. She, too, has lamented Italian brands selling out to foreign luxury labels and showing outside of Milan. However, she seems to have accepted this as the direction in which things are going. “With the sale of our luxury labels to foreigners, our entire system risks falling into second league,” Prada told La Republicca, “Because if our brands cross our borders, the credit, glamour, fame and decision making is in the hands of others, and we are abandoned, downgraded.”
It’s true that Milan Fashion Week doesn’t carry the same level of excitement as other fashion capitals and maybe Armani’s new program for young designers will help. Creating another catty fashion spat probably helps, too.