It's official -- Milan Fashion Week will overlap with fashion weeks in New York and London in September 2012. New York Fashion Week will run the 13th through the 20th, London will run the 21st through the 25th and Milan Fashion Week will land right in the middle of it all, September 19th through 25th.
Because of this, buyers and editors will have to choose between attending shows, angering the fashion communities in all cities involved and promising Milan Fashion Week boycotts from the editors of Vogue.
The move comes after New York Fashion Week officials said they would postpone Fashion Week to avoid overlapping with Labor Day, subsequently pushing backMilan's original Fashion Week date. Italian designers argued that this would not leave them with enough production time.
Mario Boselli head of the Camera Nazionale della Moda, however, seems unfazed by the decision. He told WWD, "Italian designers unanimously agreed on the schedule. They showed great solidarity and Italian pride."
And what about the fact that these cities will now all be competing against each other for industry attention? Says Boselli, "Let the best one win."
Below, the email that Diane Von Furstenberg, head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, sent out this morning in response to this decision.
From: DVF Date: October 10, 2011 10:12:03 AM EDT To: undisclosed-recipients:; Subject: An Open Letter to the Fashion Community from Diane von Furstenberg
Fashion shows are meant to allow designers to show their collections and vision for the following season.
Everyone goes through huge efforts at a large expense to make it easy and pleasant for the editors and retailers. The market has expanded greatly in the last years with Asia, Middle East, Russia and Brazil growing so fast. It requires a lot of coordination and planning.
Editors, retailers and designers like the consistency of every designer always showing on the same day of the week season after season. It makes it so much easier for everyone to plan and attend shows. Clearly, year after year, the calendar changes. There are 7 days in the week and every new year the calendar advances 1 day. Some years it will be better for some cities, some years not.
That is what is happening in September 2012. I believe our friends in Milan did not understand that. We did not change from the decision when we agreed to start Fashion Season in New York on the same day every year, which is on the second Thursday of February and September. It is the nature of the calendar.
I also believe this conflict is a misunderstanding. I am convinced it will be resolved and that the agreement that was made 3 years ago at great cost and effort is valid and will be kept.
As the President of the CFDA, I represent my fellow designers. We share the same goals as Milan, Paris, and London. Everyone at the CFDA has great respect and admiration for the designers working in those cities Our shared goal is that we want the editors and retailers to see our work and to do theirs.
At a time of great uncertainty in the world, we are lucky to be part of an industry that is flourishing and that provides an enormous amount of jobs. We should not jeopardize that by being apart. It is most important that we show unity, fairness, and that we work together to ensure everyone is given equal benefit from our work.
As we say in fashion, the show must go on!
--Diane von Furstenberg
This story was published on October 10, 2011 11:45 AM