Gucci announces return to Milan runway in 2022
Gucci is making a strategic U-turn. Two years after its last runway presentation in Milan, the Italian luxury house is preparing to show in the Lombard capital once again, according to the label's CEO, Marco Bizzarri, who spoke at the Pambianco Fashion Summit on Tuesday.
In a release issued following the announcement, Kering's flagship brand further specified that its return to Milan Fashion Week will take the form of a show scheduled for February 2022, two years after its last presentation on the official calendar, which took place in February 2020. The brand is also planning two other shows, one in late spring, the other in September 2022.
Similarly to other houses, including Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, which is also part of Kering's portfolio, the Italian label stepped away from the official fashion calendar during the pandemic, opting instead to reveal its collections in other places, at other times and through new formats.
In May 2020, creative director Alessandro Michele announced that he wanted to follow his own rhythm for future runway shows. "I feel the urgent need to change a lot of things in the way I work," he wrote on his Instagram account, denouncing "deadlines which risk to humiliate creativity" and "an excessive performativity that today really has no raison d'être."
Following this announcement, Michele unveiled a first collection via video in July 2020, then another in November with a festival of several short films. This year, the Aria collection was once again livestreamed via an online show in April, while, for its latest collection, the label returned to physical events with a runway show hosted in Hollywood at the start of November.
Implemented in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, this off-calendar strategy has clearly not achieved all of its desired results. With the new program announced by Gucci on Tuesday, it seems that the brand has decided to return to a steadier, more traditional runway tempo.
The label, which is a major growth driver at Kering, saw its sales slow somewhat in the third quarter. Revenues increased 3.8% year over year to 2.18 billion euros, with the company's managers describing the period as a quarter of transition, seeing as the Aria collection, which was shown later in the season, will not arrive in stores before the end of September. It is hoped, however, that the collection will ensure an acceleration in Gucci's sales at the end of this year.
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