It’s been a busy month in Milan. The beginning of September saw the city’s Design Week make a welcome comeback after the usual events in April 2020 were cancelled because of the covid pandemic. Rather than the usual Salone Internazionale del Mobile or International Furniture Fair, this year’s main event was known as the Supersalone – Supersalone to signify that Milan as a city is back with a ‘super’ event. It was curated by Milanese archistar Stefano Boeri, also president of the City’s Triennale Museum, and deemed a success.
Now it’s the turn of Milan Fashion Week. During the February 2020 Fashion Week a case of covid was identified just south of Milan. That was Thursday night. On Sunday Giorgio Armani and others chose to show their collections to empty houses, while the rest of us looked at half-empty supermarkets, and in Lombardy on Monday the kids didn’t go back to school.
Fashion Weeks continued during the pandemic but in a different format. Both September 2020 and February 2021 Milan Fashion Weeks were virtual, apart from a few exceptions. This September’s Milan Fashion Week spring/summer 2022 signifies a return to in-person shows, events and parties. Milan Fashion Week is back.
All the Italian greats – Armani, Prada, Versace, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Missoni, Marni, Tod’s, Moschino, Roberto Cavalli, Alberto Ferretti – and more will put their spring/summer 2022 collections on the catwalks, after which the fashion editors, buyers, influencers and executives will pack up and head off to Paris for the final show of the month. While we may watch and make mental notes of what we’re planning to wear next summer, fashion is, after all, business.
There’ll be a total of 173 appointments, out of which 123 will be in-person and the others virtual. Out of 65 runway shows, 42 will be in person. Carlo Capasa, president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion said at the press conference that “This edition of Milan Fashion Week’s Women’s Collection signals a moment of re-birth.” It’s an exciting time.
Milan Fashion Week spring/summer 2022 has a lot to watch. There will be the first Prada show with Raf Simons alongside Miuccia Prada as co-creative director, the 20th anniversary of jewellery brand Pomellato’s Nudo collection, and the return of Roberto Cavalli under the creative direction of Fausto Puglisi. Boss (Hugo Boss womenswear) and Moncler are also returning. MM6 Maison Margiela, Luisa Spagnoli, HUI and Vitelli will all be showing for the first time. Gucci’s highly-anticipated event will take place on Saturday and launch the highly mysterious Vault.
There will be celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Giorgio Armani’s Emporio Armani. If there’s anyone that epitomises the understated elegance of Milanese style, it’s Armani. His clothes have a certain ‘milanesità’ – that which makes them Milanese, that understated elegance, where less is considered definitely more – and yet it’s probably the name that’s most associated with Italian fashion on the international stage. Celebrations will involve a special edition of the Emporio magazine, the runway show on Thursday 23 September, and the inauguration, also on Thursday, of an exhibition at the Armani Silos entitled ‘The Way We Are’.
Armani started Emporio Armani in 1981. The philosophy behind it was that it would be more inclusive and reach more people. It was the early 80s, Italian fashion had made the physical shift to Milan from Florence and Rome, to a city that could offer what it needed in terms of a textiles industry, magazine publishing, communications and transport. Giorgio Armani, along with Gianni Versace, Krizia and Missoni were some of the key names that helped make Milan one of the fashion capitals of the world.
If you’ve enjoyed reading and would like to read more about Milan as a city of fashion, see my book The Fashion Lover’s Guide to Milan.